Dawn Sumner

Dawn Summer

Position Title

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

My research focuses on reconstructing ancient environments on early Earth and Mars and the early evolution of bacteria, including oxygenic photosynthesis. My group studies everything from the environmental setting, geochemistry and morphology of Archean microbialites to the morphology, climate response, and genomics of modern microbial communities growing in ice-covered Antarctic lakes to the stratigraphy and geochemistry of sedimentary rocks on Mars. I am a member of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, helping the rover Curiosity explore ancient environments in Gale Crater on Mars. I regularly share my research and adventures with the public and am dedicated to helping students of all backgrounds prepare for careers in science.