Speakers Profile - Dr David Flannery

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David is a planetary scientist formerly based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has designed, developed and fielded numerous robotic platforms for investigations in extreme environments, including instrumentation that is currently operating on Mars.

David joined the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences at QUT in 2019 to develop capabilities in the fields of deep-time geology and astrobiology.

After graduating from Macquarie University in 2009 with a major in paleobiology, he then attended Peking University’s College of Urban and Environmental Science and MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences as a Visiting Research Scholar.

In 2014, David received a PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2014 for research into evidence for life and early terrestrial environments preserved in Archean (4-2.5 billion-year-old) rocks in Western Australia.

In 2014-2015, while a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), he studied molecular evidence for ancient microbial metabolisms preserved in Earth’s oldest known fossils, and worked on the development of litho chemistry instruments that were later selected to fly on NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Mission.

He then joined NASA as a full time research scientist based in the Planetary Science Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has designed and fielded numerous platforms for geological investigations in extreme environments, including multi-million-dollar projects funded by NASA.

David has broad interests in the fields of astrobiology, geology, space innovation and sustainable development.