Svetlana's research interest involves life detection techniques and biosignature protocols on planetary surfaces, with emphasis on Mars. This includes multiwavelength Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy instrument development for astrobiology missions, studies of false spectral biosignatures, spectral signatures of biogenic vs. abiogenic macromolecular carbon, and protocols to aid the Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign. She is a collaborator on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and a science team member on ESA's ExoMars rover.
In addition, she is active in engaging the mission planning research community in defining and developing life detection mission technology strategies in her work with NASA's Center for Life Detection (CLD). She is also involved with engaging the public by serving the Astrobiology Program office as a bridge between the NASA Astrobiology Program and the NASA-funded educational activities of the Science Activation program.