Lucy Kissick

Lucy Kissick

Postgraduate

I work with Nick Tosca using chemical experiments to simulate the ground-surface interface of Mars. More than three and a half billion years ago water on Mars was stable as lakes and rivers, but how the atmosphere was substantial enough to support this is a long-standing mystery. Using data from NASA’s rover Curiosity, Nick’s research suggests hydrogen gas was being released within martian lakes and supplementing this early atmosphere — how much of this gas, and how climatically relevant it may have been, are the questions my research addresses.

Over the next three years I’ll be simulating a martian lake in the lab┬áto produce and measure this hydrogen, followed by globally mapping the planet’s lake deposits to estimate how widespread this process might have been.

Summer 2017 update: Currently I’m synthesising my own ‘Mars rock’ in Bernie Wood’s Experimental Petrology lab, since the mineral that controls the hydrogen process is so hard to get hold of naturally, and I look forward to beginning my experiments in Autumn!