Astrobiogeochemistry Laboratory

The abcLab at JPL

The focus of the abcLab is the study of the formation, preservation and detection of morphologic, mineralogic, molecular, and isotopic signs of life and environment in geologic samples.

Lab instrumentation includes:

  • Delta V+ isotope ratio mass spectrometer with combustion and pyrolysis interfaces for stable CHNOS isotopic analysis
  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry system for organic compound identification and compound specific C,H,N isotope analysis
  • Sample preparation facilities including microbalance, soxhlets, microwave assisted extraction and digestion, glass vacuum line
  • Light microscope with digital XYZ stage
  • Scanning electron microscope with large area elemental mapping capability
Personnel / Contacts: 
Ongoing Research Projects: 
  • The earliest organic records of life on Earth
  • Isotopic records of atmospheric oxygenation
  • Biogeochemistry of mass extinction events
  • Paleohydrologic records in organic matter and hydrous minerals on Earth and Mars
  • Biosignature preservation in hydrothermal systems on Earth and Mars