I straddle the line between the fields of geobiology and planetary science on a variety of projects but I am primarily interested in understanding how cold-tolerant microbes survive in deep-ice environments and whether we can use that knowledge to drive how we search for signs of life on icy Solar System bodies using current and new planetary science mission instrumentation.
Space to me poses some of the oldest and most outstanding questions of life. Where did we come from? Are we alone? How rare are we? It's really exciting to think about the possible answers, and most importantly, I think these questions unite us all as humans, as life, really.
Besides reconnecting in person with friends and loved ones, I'm definitely going to brunch, karaoke, breweries, and the beach - anywhere where I can feel like I'm part of humanity and celebrating the human experience.
Perhaps it's basic, given how popular it's become, but I would be Jupiter's icy moon Europa. I like being where the action is, and Europa sees a lot of action being inside Jupiter's magnetic field and getting sprayed by Io's sulfurous volcanic activity. This is all in addition to exhibiting a buried ocean that we still don't know much about. Who knows what's going on down there?
Sergio collected bacterial mat samples from a soda lake in Northern California during his International Geobiology Course.