Lab Members

Mihaela Glamoclija

I am an Assistant Professor in Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University - Newark. I received my PhD from the International Research School of Planetary Sciences at Universita' d'Annnunzio (Pescara, Italy) and my BS is from Belgrade University (Belgrade, Serbia). 

​I am very interested in modern and fossil extreme environments,  geomicrobiology, astrobiology and planetary geology. The main goals of my research are to understand the ways modern microbial communities modify their environment and to decipher types of biosignatures they may leave behind. I am also very interested in figuring out how microbial communities and their biosignatures change through fossilization processes. You can contact me m.glamoclija at

Ashley Murphy

Ashley is our former graduate student and currently a visiting scholar at Rutgers University. She holds a postdoctoral position at PSI and is part of SHERLOC, M2020 team. Her research interests include the changes of biosignatures and textures in rocks over geologic time, and what implications this has regarding the search for life on Mars. Ashley is particularly interested in dolomitization and metamorphic changes in geologically old carbonate bearing rocks and how this relates to biosignature preservation.

You can contact Ashley  at aem240 at

Ifeoma Ugwuanyi

Ifeoma is a graduate student and her research interests include understanding how extremophiles respond to chemical variation in their environment, their ecosystem functions, and the different mechanisms that extremophiles use to survive extreme conditions. Ifeoma is also interested in data science and spends her spare time playing with data using R.

You can contact Ifeoma  at iru1 at

Sebastian Plasencia

Sebastian is an undergraduate student in our department and is currently working on Nitrogen cycling trends at continental hydrothermal sites. He is building a database of chemical parameters and will be linking them to molecular sequencing data. Sebastian is interested in statistical analyses and machine learning applications to better understand nutrient cycling in hydrothermal systems.


2021:  Undergraduate Students:

           Tanisha Flats 


2019: Postdocs:

           Allison Enright (Assistant Professor @ Uni. of New Brunswick)

           Undergraduate Students:

           Joceline Fuentes-Maya

           Sebastian Plasencia

           Highschool Student:

           Anamaria Popovska

2018: Undergraduate Students:

           Audrey Miller (bottom photo)

           Suah Yekeh 

2017: Postdocs:

           Kosala Sirisena (Senior Lecturer @ Uni. of Sri Jayewardenepura) 

           Graduate Students:

           Steven Ramirez 

           Undergraduate Students:

           Allison Waldron 

           Carlos Macazana

2016: Postdocs:

           Inoka Widanamagamage (@ Uni. of Mississippi) 

           Undergraduate Students:

           Brittany Washington 

2015: Undergraduate Students:

           Nancy Padilla

           Mousa Zeidan

           Steven Potochniak