Sarah Johnson

Expertise: Biosignatures
Affiliation: Assistant Professor at Georgetown University
Certification/Education: PhD in planetary science, MIT
MSc in biology, University of Oxford
2nd BA in philosophy, politics and economics, University of Oxford
BA in mathematics and environmental studies, Washington University in St. Louis

BASALT Research Objectives

To investigate rock-hosted biosignatures in subsurface basaltic lava tubes


Dr. Johnson is an assistant professor of planetary science at Georgetown University, where her lab focuses on biosignature detection. She is currently investigating multiple Mars-relevant field sites, from silica sinters and acid salt lakes to ancient deposits in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, all with distinctive features that offer insights into what aqueous environments may have been like on the Red Planet a few billion years ago. She is also a Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and a member of the SAM instrument team on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. She serves on NASA’s Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Goals Committee as the Goal 1 (Determine if Mars Ever Supported Life) Co-Chair.