de Dios Cubillas, Ana

PhD student

Study of the mineralogy and structures of cold seeps and their implications for astrobiology on Europa

Supervisors: Olga Prieto Ballesteros (CAB), Iván López Ruiz-Labranderas (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos) y Daniel Carrizo Gallardo (CAB)

I am a geologist graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid since 2018. The following year, I completed my Master´s degree in Environmental Change and Human Impact in the Quaternary Period at the University of the Basque Country. My Master´s thesis, entitled “Study of the mineralogy and structures of cold seeps and their implications for astrobiology on Europa” and carried out and co-directed in collaboration with the Spanish Centre for Astrobiology (CAB), was awarded a Special Mention for the most relevant Master´s thesis of 2018-2019 academic year by the Academic Committee of the Master´s degree and a Secondary award in the Third Edition of “Jorge Civis” Awards. I am currently a student in the PhD Program in Sciences of the King Juan Carlos University and I am developing my PhD thesis in CAB, “Role of minerals in the biogeochemical cycle of ocean worlds in the solar system. The main aim will be to explain how the formation of clathrate hydrate, carbonates, salts and silicates affects in the natural environments for sequestration of elements, such as C and S, or its dissociation/alteration in the release of molecules that contain such elements. Laboratory simulation experiments, analysis of data from space missions and characterization of terrestial analog samples from hydrothermal systems and cold seeps will be carried out. The results of this multidisciplinary project could be used to understand better the extreme terrestrial environments and to detect the markers of potential deep niches.

KeywordsPlanetary geology, ocean worlds, clathrate hydrates, Raman spectroscopy