Dr. Danna Qasim

Dr. Danna Qasim

  • POSTDOC RESEARCH SCIENTIST
  • 301.286.4572
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 691
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: HOWARD UNIV
  • Brief Bio

    I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Cosmic Ice Laboratory and will conduct research in various laboratories within the Astrochemistry Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. For information on my latest research, please refer to my Google Scholar and ResearchGate profiles.

    Research Interests

    Connecting interstellar chemistry to meteorite chemistry

    For my postdoctoral research, investigation of the effects of hydrothermal processing on the distribution of amino acids and amines in meteorite parent bodies is pursued in the laboratory. Notably, the samples undergoing processing will be irradiated interstellar ice analogues, which are reflective of the chemical materials inherited by meteorite parent bodies.

    Interstellar ices - laboratory and observations

    In my doctorate, the formation of solid-state interstellar complex organic molecules (COMs) was pursued in the laboratory and strongly intertwined with astronomical observations of COMs. The formation of simple molecules was additionally investigated. Experimental research was conducted with an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) setup equipped with three atomic beam sources: hydrogen, nitrogen/oxygen (microwave), and carbon. Interstellar ice analogues were formed on a 10 K substrate that was cooled by a cryostat. Experimental techniques included reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) and temperature programmed desorption-quadrupole mass spectrometry (TPD-QMS). Lead in the design, construction, testing, and operation of the carbon atom beam line. Testing included construction of a UHV chamber with an engineer. This thesis work primarily demonstrated that COMs can be formed much earlier than expected in interstellar clouds, and that a variety of small and large organics are likely to exist. Observational ice astronomy project under the supervision of Dr. Adwin Boogert included assistance with the proposal and observational run, and creation of a script in Python for data analysis. This study provided observational evidence of the formation of methanol, the simplest COM, at an earlier stage than expected.

    The role of mineral surfaces in catalyzing reactions

    In my master's, delineation of the role of the surface of the meteoritic mineral, schreibersite (Fe2NiP), in aqueous-phase phosphorylation reactions was pursued in the laboratory. A UHV apparatus and solid-sample were optimized to conduct RAIRS and TPD-QMS measurements of chemical processes that occurred on the synthetic extraterrestrial mineral surface. Additionally analyzed the sample with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). It was found that the surface is chemically active at relevant temperatures (~130 K), and that the surface topography may act as a catalyst in the phosphorylation process.

    Positions/Employment

    8/2020 - Present

    Postdoctoral researcher

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (employed by Howard University), Greenbelt, MD
    7/2013 - 8/2014

    Junior analytical chemist

    Kimberly-Clark Corporation (employed by Sunrise Systems), Roswell, GA
    6/2012 - 5/2013

    Graduate teaching and research assistant

    Emory University, Atlanta, GA

    Education

    PhD Astronomy, July 2016 - July 2020: Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands. Advisors: Prof. dr. Harold Linnartz and Prof. dr. Ewine van Dishoeck; Co-advisor: Dr. Gleb Fedoseev. Thesis: Dark ice chemistry in interstellar clouds

    MSc Chemical Sciences, August 2014 - May 2016: Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA. Advisor: Prof. dr. Heather Abbott-Lyon. Thesis: Understanding the surface induced phosphorylation of prebiotic molecules by schreibersite

    BSc Chemistry (minor astronomy), August 2008 - May 2012: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.

    Awards

    ACS Astrochemistry 2021 Outstanding Dissertation Award

    Travel award to COSPAR (2021): €1200

    Travel award to ECLA (2021): €450

    NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship Program 2020 (declined)

    Travel award to the IAU S350 (2019): €540 

    Travel award to Keck Observatory Headquarters and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (2018): €1400 Leids Universiteits Fonds; €600 Leids Kerkhoven-Bosscha Fonds 

    Other Professional Information

    In the Media/News:

    Nature Research Astronomy Community

    NASA Early Career Scientist Spotlight

    Astronomie.nl

    Scientias.nl

    Mare Leiden University

    Smithsonian Magazine

    Special Experience

    Participant in NASA's 6th annual Planetary Science Winter School (2020-2021): Shadowed a mechanical engineer in the design of a potential planetary flight instrument. 

    Publications

    Refereed

    Ioppolo, S., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. H. M. Cuppen, A. R. Clements, M. Jin, R. T. Garrod, D. Qasim, V. Kofman, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "A non-energetic mechanism for glycine formation in the interstellar medium." Nature Astronomy, [10.1038/s41550-020-01249-0]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. V. Taquet, T. Lamberts, J. He, S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "Synthesis of solid-state complex organic molecules through accretion of simple species at low temperatures." Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 15 (S350): 46-50 [10.1017/s174392131900975x]

    Qasim, D., M. J. Witlox, G. Fedoseev, et al. K.-J. Chuang, T. Banu, S. A. Krasnokutski, S. Ioppolo, J. Kästner, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "A cryogenic ice setup to simulate carbon atom reactions in interstellar ices." Review of Scientific Instruments, 91 (5): 054501 [10.1063/5.0003692]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. J. He, S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "An experimental study of the surface formation of methane in interstellar molecular clouds." Nature Astronomy, 4 (8): 781-785 [10.1038/s41550-020-1054-y]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, C. Jäger, T. Henning, M. E. Palumbo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "Formation of complex molecules in translucent clouds: acetaldehyde, vinyl alcohol, ketene, and ethanol via “nonenergetic” processing of C2H2 ice." Astronomy & Astrophysics, 635: A199 [10.1051/0004-6361/201937302]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. V. Taquet, T. Lamberts, J. He, S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2019. "Formation of interstellar propanal and 1-propanol ice: a pathway involving solid-state CO hydrogenation." Astronomy & Astrophysics, 627: A1 [10.1051/0004-6361/201935217]

    Qasim, D., T. Lamberts, J. He, et al. K.-J. Chuang, G. Fedoseev, S. Ioppolo, A. C. Boogert, and H. Linnartz. 2019. "Extension of the HCOOH and CO2 solid-state reaction network during the CO freeze-out stage: inclusion of H2CO." Astronomy & Astrophysics, 626: A118 [10.1051/0004-6361/201935068]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, T. Lamberts, et al. K.-J. Chuang, J. He, S. Ioppolo, J. Kästner, and H. Linnartz. 2019. "Alcohols on the Rocks: Solid-State Formation in a H3CC≡CH + OH Cocktail under Dark Cloud Conditions." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 3 (6): 986-999 [10.1021/acsearthspacechem.9b00062]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2018. "H2 chemistry in interstellar ices: the case of CO ice hydrogenation in UV irradiated CO:H2 ice mixtures." Astronomy & Astrophysics, 617: A87 [10.1051/0004-6361/201833439]

    Qasim, D., K.-J. Chuang, G. Fedoseev, et al. S. Ioppolo, A. C. Boogert, and H. Linnartz. 2018. "Formation of interstellar methanol ice prior to the heavy CO freeze-out stage." Astronomy & Astrophysics, 612: A83 [10.1051/0004-6361/201732355]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, E. F. Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2018. "Reactive Desorption of CO Hydrogenation Products under Cold Pre-stellar Core Conditions." The Astrophysical Journal, 853 (2): 102 [10.3847/1538-4357/aaa24e]

    Qasim, D., L. Vlasak, A. Pital, et al. T. Beckman, N. Mutanda, and H. Abbott-Lyon. 2017. "Adsorption of Water, Methanol, and Formic Acid on Fe2NiP, a Meteoritic Mineral Analogue." The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121 (25): 13645-13654 [10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b01312]

    Fedoseev, G., K.-J. Chuang, S. Ioppolo, et al. D. Qasim, E. F. Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2017. "Formation of Glycerol through Hydrogenation of CO Ice under Prestellar Core Conditions." The Astrophysical Journal, 842 (1): 52 [10.3847/1538-4357/aa74dc]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, E. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2017. "Production of complex organic molecules:H-atom addition versus UV irradiation." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 467: 2552–2565 [10.1093/mnras/stx222]

    La Cruz, N. L., D. Qasim, H. Abbott-Lyon, et al. C. Pirim, A. D. McKee, T. Orlando, M. Gull, D. Lindsay, and M. A. Pasek. 2016. "The evolution of the surface of the mineral schreibersite in prebiotic chemistry." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 18 (30): 20160-20167 [10.1039/c6cp00836d]

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Invited

    STScI Exoplanets, Star and Planet Formation Seminar Series (virtual meeting)

    UCF AVS Astrochemistry Webinar Series

    259th ACS Meeting: Astrochemical complexity in planetary systems (declined)

    3 / 2020

    Combined laboratory and theoretical study on formation of alcohols in the H2O-rich ice phase of prestellar cores

    8 / 2019

    258th ACS Meeting: Water in the Universe; San Diego, CA

    Synthesis of solid-state COMs through accretion of simple species at low temperatures

    7 / 2019

    Space Science & Astrobiology Division Seminar; NASA Ames Research Center

    Other

    COSPAR 2021, F3.5 Pre-biotic and Complex Molecules in the Universe (virtual meeting)

    AGU The journey of ices from interstellar clouds to planetary systems (invited to contribute talk; declined)

    12 / 2020

    Contributed talk: Experimental confirmation of methane ice formation by atomic C and H

    6 / 2020

    Astrochemical Frontiers (virtual meeting)

    Talk: Solid-state laboratory investigations of interstellar complex organic molecules by ‘non-energetic’ processes

    7 / 2019

    Icy Worlds Collaboration & Exchange (ICE) seminar; Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Contributed talk: Synthesis of solid-state COMs through accretion of simple species at low temperatures

    4 / 2019

    IAU S350 Laboratory Astrophysics Conference; Cambridge, UK

    Contributed talk: Complex organic molecule formation by atom-induced processes at cryogenic temperatures

    10 / 2018

    Dutch Astrochemistry Network Student Meeting; University of Amsterdam

    Brief Bio

    I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Cosmic Ice Laboratory and will conduct research in various laboratories within the Astrochemistry Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. For information on my latest research, please refer to my Google Scholar and ResearchGate profiles.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Ioppolo, S., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. H. M. Cuppen, A. R. Clements, M. Jin, R. T. Garrod, D. Qasim, V. Kofman, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "A non-energetic mechanism for glycine formation in the interstellar medium." Nature Astronomy [10.1038/s41550-020-01249-0]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. V. Taquet, T. Lamberts, J. He, S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "Synthesis of solid-state complex organic molecules through accretion of simple species at low temperatures." Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 15 (S350): 46-50 [10.1017/s174392131900975x]

    Qasim, D., M. J. Witlox, G. Fedoseev, et al. K.-J. Chuang, T. Banu, S. A. Krasnokutski, S. Ioppolo, J. Kästner, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "A cryogenic ice setup to simulate carbon atom reactions in interstellar ices." Review of Scientific Instruments 91 (5): 054501 [10.1063/5.0003692]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. J. He, S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "An experimental study of the surface formation of methane in interstellar molecular clouds." Nature Astronomy 4 (8): 781-785 [10.1038/s41550-020-1054-y]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, C. Jäger, T. Henning, M. E. Palumbo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2020. "Formation of complex molecules in translucent clouds: acetaldehyde, vinyl alcohol, ketene, and ethanol via “nonenergetic” processing of C2H2 ice." Astronomy & Astrophysics 635 A199 [10.1051/0004-6361/201937302]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, K.-J. Chuang, et al. V. Taquet, T. Lamberts, J. He, S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2019. "Formation of interstellar propanal and 1-propanol ice: a pathway involving solid-state CO hydrogenation." Astronomy & Astrophysics 627 A1 [10.1051/0004-6361/201935217]

    Qasim, D., T. Lamberts, J. He, et al. K.-J. Chuang, G. Fedoseev, S. Ioppolo, A. C. Boogert, and H. Linnartz. 2019. "Extension of the HCOOH and CO2 solid-state reaction network during the CO freeze-out stage: inclusion of H2CO." Astronomy & Astrophysics 626 A118 [10.1051/0004-6361/201935068]

    Qasim, D., G. Fedoseev, T. Lamberts, et al. K.-J. Chuang, J. He, S. Ioppolo, J. Kästner, and H. Linnartz. 2019. "Alcohols on the Rocks: Solid-State Formation in a H3CC≡CH + OH Cocktail under Dark Cloud Conditions." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 3 (6): 986-999 [10.1021/acsearthspacechem.9b00062]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, E. F. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2018. "H2 chemistry in interstellar ices: the case of CO ice hydrogenation in UV irradiated CO:H2 ice mixtures." Astronomy & Astrophysics 617 A87 [10.1051/0004-6361/201833439]

    Qasim, D., K.-J. Chuang, G. Fedoseev, et al. S. Ioppolo, A. C. Boogert, and H. Linnartz. 2018. "Formation of interstellar methanol ice prior to the heavy CO freeze-out stage." Astronomy & Astrophysics 612 A83 [10.1051/0004-6361/201732355]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, E. F. Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2018. "Reactive Desorption of CO Hydrogenation Products under Cold Pre-stellar Core Conditions." The Astrophysical Journal 853 (2): 102 [10.3847/1538-4357/aaa24e]

    Qasim, D., L. Vlasak, A. Pital, et al. T. Beckman, N. Mutanda, and H. Abbott-Lyon. 2017. "Adsorption of Water, Methanol, and Formic Acid on Fe2NiP, a Meteoritic Mineral Analogue." The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 121 (25): 13645-13654 [10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b01312]

    Fedoseev, G., K.-J. Chuang, S. Ioppolo, et al. D. Qasim, E. F. Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2017. "Formation of Glycerol through Hydrogenation of CO Ice under Prestellar Core Conditions." The Astrophysical Journal 842 (1): 52 [10.3847/1538-4357/aa74dc]

    Chuang, K.-J., G. Fedoseev, D. Qasim, et al. S. Ioppolo, E. van Dishoeck, and H. Linnartz. 2017. "Production of complex organic molecules:H-atom addition versus UV irradiation." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 467 2552–2565 [10.1093/mnras/stx222]

    La Cruz, N. L., D. Qasim, H. Abbott-Lyon, et al. C. Pirim, A. D. McKee, T. Orlando, M. Gull, D. Lindsay, and M. A. Pasek. 2016. "The evolution of the surface of the mineral schreibersite in prebiotic chemistry." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 18 (30): 20160-20167 [10.1039/c6cp00836d]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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