Alastair is an Assistant Lecturer and former Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) Summer Intern. His PhD thesis was on investigating chondritic meteorites as potential habitats for microorganisms on Earth and Mars. His training and academic interests include astrobiology, meteoritics and planetary geology.
Alastair uses electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray computed tomography, adsorption isotherms, and 16S rRNA sequencing to characterize the habitability of microenvironments within meteorites and their microbial diversity. Alastair has also published on the topic of thermal metamorphism and silicate partial melting of parent bodies, and the discovery of structural controls within asteroid parent bodies on fluid transport. Currently Alastair has started new investigations into the chemical behavior of microbial consortia of unique hypersaline sulfide-carbonate lakes, as well as the micrometeorite flux of the early Archaean and the role it may have played on an early terrestrial biosphere.