Sara Smith

Graduate student
Water pouring over a ledge.


My research focuses on the use of sulfur isotope variations to serve as a biosignature for microbial redox reactions and to investigate a rare gamma sulfur polymorph as a biomineral associated with sulfide-oxidizing bacteria in order to look for life on Mars. I received dual degrees in Geoscience and Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and became interested in hydrogeology on a volunteer trip to New Zealand, where the karst topography and caverns containing underground streams fascinated me. I enjoy backpacking, kayaking, and photography in my free time.