Monica Byrne
Graduate Student
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
E34-532, 42-44 Carleton Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
USA
phone 617.324.4004
email mcbyrne@mit.edu

full PDF version of CV

research interests
  • formation, diagenesis and applicability of biomineral biomarkers
  • lipid biomarkers
  • isotopic chemical signatures to illuminate abrupt climate change

education
  • High School: Lebanon Catholic School, Lebanon, PA USA
  • B.A. in Biochemistry: Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA USA 2003
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Geobiology: MIT, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science since 2003. advisor: Professor Julian Sachs

past research
  • 2003 CTD watchstander and research assistant on WHOI research cruise: R/V Knorr 173/2, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad to Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • 2002 NASA Research Associate in Ames Astrobiology Academy
  • 2001 NASA Scholar in Astromaterials Division at Johnson Space Center
  • Wellesley College KC-135 Zero Gravity Experiment Team
  • 2000 Lockheed Martin Research Intern in Planetary Sciences and Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Johnson Space Center

personal
I first came across a description of exobiology in my 9th grade life science textbook. I thought to myself, "Aha! This is what I want to do with my life." Three years later I went to Wellesley to major in biochemistry, because it was known for its wonderful science pedagogy and tradition of strong women. Then, by a serendipitous stroke of luck, I found myself working at NASA in the Institute for the Study of Biomarkers under David McKay and Penny Morris, looking at stromatolites with an SEM and enjoying Houston thunderstorms. Now at MIT under Julian Sachs, I am looking for clues to piece together the abrupt climate change in the Eocene epoch, using isotopic and biomarker data to inform the emerging picture...and "enjoying" the Cambridge winter.

Grad school permitting, I love to:
  1. fly Cessna 150s
  2. write love songs and then
  3. play them on my guitar
  4. eat chocolate
  5. write stories about renegade nuns
  6. henna myself
  7. see how many sit-ups I can do at a time
  8. create new languages
  9. roam Cambridge, causing trouble
  10. sleep


publications (as principal contributor)
Byrne M.C., Morris P.A., Wentworth S.J, Brigmon R.L., McKay D.S. (2002) Microbial biota from fractured stromatolite and biofilm samples: biomarkers from a hypersaline lake. Manuscript in revision, J. Astrobio.

Byrne M.C., Morris P.A., Wentworth S.J, Brigmon R.L., McKay D.S. (2001) Microbial biota from fractured stromatolite and biofilm samples: biomarkers from a hypersaline lake. GSA Ann. Mtg. Abstr.

Byrne M.C., Morris P.A., Wentworth S.J, Brigmon R.L., McKay D.S. (2000) Scanning electron microscopy of biogenic features in a Bahamian stromatolite (Storrs Lake): a microbial graveyard GSA Ann. Mtg. Abstr.
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