Svetlana Shkolyar

Svetlana Shkolyar

  • POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
  • 301.614.5033
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 698
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIVERSITIES SPACE RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
  • Brief Bio

    Svetlana's research interest involves life detection techniques and biosignature protocols on planetary surfaces using multiwavelength Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. She is also involved in studies that inform sample caching and return considerations on Perseverance Rover, participating as a collaborator on the mission. Her work has involved studies of false biosignature mimickers, spectral signatures of biogenic vs. abiogenic macromolecular carbon, protocols to help the Mars Sample Return campaign, and instrument development studies to inform missions to astrobiologically relevant targets in the solar system such as Europa and Mars.

    Research Interests

    Raman spectroscopy

    • Multi-wavelength, mainly 532 nm (visible) and 266 nm (UV), spectral correlations in abiogenic and biogenic carbonaceous compounds 
    • Spectroscopy instrumentation on Perseverance Rover
    • Techniques for optimizing signals via reducing background fluorescence
    • Time-Resolved Raman spectroscopy
    • Confocal Raman spectroscopy
    • Colocated fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy instrumentation

    Perseverance Rover (Mars 2020 mission)

    • Collaborator, SuperCam instrument
    • Mars Sample return campaign, informing biosignature detection using SHERLOC and SuperCam instruments
    • Shock signatures in Raman and NIR spectra from SuperCam and SHERLOC as indicators of sample pristinity and weathering to inform sample selection for cache and return to Earth

    Astrobiology

    • Informimg biosignature detection
    • Separating false mimickers from true biosignatures
    • Informing detection of biosingatures on mission instruments to planetary surfaces  

    Mars analog field studies

    Examining diagenesis and biosignature preservation potential (BPP)

    • From the outcrop to the micro-scale
    • Taphonomic processes that affect preservation
    • Habitability

    Enhancing access to science careers and equity/divesity/inclusion in science

    Among women, disadvantaged and minority groups, and students, as well as providing mentorship to the next generation of scientists

    Science communication and public engagement

    Astrobiology as a narrative to communicate the excitement of science to the public

    Education

    PhD, Geological Sciences, School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
 (2016)
    Dissertation: "Informing Mars Sample Selection Strategies: Identifying Biosignatures and Assessing their Biosignature Preservation Potential”
    (Advisor: Jack Farmer)

    MS, Space Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (2011)
    Thesis: “Intrinsic Sunspot Rotations and their Potential Association with Solar Energetic Events” (Advisor: Paul Hardersen)

    MA, Mass Communication, Science Track, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2009)
    Thesis: “The NASA Shuttle Program: A local and national newspaper content analysis” (Advisor: Debbie Treise)

    BS, Physics with Interdisciplinary Honors, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
    Thesis: “Photo-Induced Charge Movement (PICM) Sensors: Using Bathocuproine to Detect MgCl2, FeCl2, CuCl2, and CuCl”
    (Advisor: Jay Huebner)

    Current Projects

    Informing Mars 2020 rover sample selection and caching by assessing Raman spectral signatures of shock as indicators of weathering and pristinity

    Elemental trends in Raman spectra of terrestrial and extraterrestrial insoluble organic matter

    Cerium as a Biosignature Mimicker: Implications for UV fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy instruments for astrobiology missions

    Detecting Kerogen as a biosignature using UV Time-Gated Raman and Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    Biosignature Preservation Potential in playa evaporites and other natural Mars analog samples

    Positions/Employment

    12/2019 - Present

    NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Postdoc

    USRA, GSFC
    1/2017 - 2/2019

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Carnegie Institution of Washington, Geophysical Lab, Broad Branch location (Washington DC)
    8/2011 - 12/2016

    Graduate Student Research Assistant

    School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe AZ
    8/2011 - 8/2012

    Teaching Assistant, “Habitable Worlds" GLG 106 course

    School of Earth & Space Exploration, ASU
    8/2011 - 12/2011

    Teaching Assistant, "Intro to Astronomy," AST 111 course

    School of Earth & Space Exploration, ASU
    1/2009 - 5/2011

    NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Assistant

    Space Studies Department, UND, Grand Forks, ND
    6/2010 - 8/2010

    John Mather Scholar Award Intern

    USRA, NASA GSFC
    5/2009 - 8/2009

    NASA Academy Intern

    USRA, NASA GSFC
    6/2005 - 4/2007

    Undergraduate Student Research Assistant

    Department of Physics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

    Selected Public Outreach

    NASA Astrobiology Booth participant, US Science and Engineering Festival 2018 - Present
    Conference Meeting Mentor 2017 - Present

    AGU 2017 (Undergraduate Mentoring Program) and 2017 AbSciCon (AbSciCon High School Meeting Mentor Program)

    Panelist, Opportunities Beyond Academia Careers Panel, AGU Fall Meeting 11 / 2017 - 12 / 2017

    Participated in an early career panel with over 100 student participants

    Primary Intern Supervisor 2017 - 2018

    Mentored intern project on integrating Visible/IR imaging spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy techniques to characterize Mars organics formation mechanisms.

    Featured on NASA's Search for Life toolkit 2019 - Present

    NASA tool to help science communicators to create products and prepare for external interactions with the public

    Spotlight feature member 2019 - Present

    Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) newsletter, Nov. 2017 edition

    Featured as Highlighted Graduate Student 9 / 2017 - 10 / 2017

    Newsletter of the Arizona Geological Society, Sep. 2017

    Invited speaker, Mother Daughter Shine Brightly Summit 4 / 2015 - 5 / 2015

    Discussed careers in science at this workshop for middle school girls

    Invited Talk, Mentor of the Month series, SAGANet.org 3 / 2014 - 4 / 2014

    Talk title: “Bringing 21st century science alive in the classroom through astrobiology and how you can get involved”

    Show guest, STEM Journals TV show, season 3, Cox Channel 7 9 / 2014 - 10 / 2014

    Filmed Paleontology episode on fossil biosignature and Mars analog research

    Guest blogger 2014 - 2015

    Wrote this post about conference speaking for a graduate student tips website

    Executive Director, SAGANet.org 2013 - 2016

    Fostering communication & outreach with community of 1000+ astrobiologists, early career scientists, and educators.

    Panelist, Phoenix ComiCon 2013 - 2014

    Coordinated with panelists across disciplines to run “Mad Scientists,” Astrobiology, and NASA Famelab for ComiCon’s science programming

    NASA FameLab competition participant 2019 - Present

    Gave two 3-minute TED talk-style talks: “Life on Mars” (2013); “Graveyards of life on Mars?” at Phoenix ComicCon (2014).

    Freelance Technical Writer 2006 - 2009

    Wrote articles for the public for Institution of Engineering and Technology, UNF’s Spinnaker Newspaper, and NASA’s ASK Magazine. Examples available upon request. 

    Awards

    2018, Cover Art, Astrobiology Journal, Nov. 2018 issue
    2016, Outstanding Graduate Student Award at ASU’s commencement
    2016, Graduate and Professional Student Association Graduate Research Support Award
    2015, NASA Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award
    2015, Graduate Excellence Award, $250, ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    2014, Strategic University Research Partnership Proposal (SURP) Collaborative Grant
    2013, ASU Space Grant Fellowship
    2013, Summer PhD Student Research Award
    2011, Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship
    2011, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Foundation Scholarship
    2011, NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Graduate Assistantship
    2009, John Mather Nobel Scholarship
    2007, NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium Undergrad Research Grant
    2006, UNF Hercules Endowed Scholarship in Physics
     

    Publications

    Refereed

    Shkolyar, S., E. Lalla, M. Konstantinidis, et al. K. Cote, M. Daly, and A. Steele. 2020. "Detecting Ce3+ as a biosignature mimicker using UV time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy: Implications for planetary missions." Icarus, 354: 114093 [10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114093]

    Lalla, E., S. Shkolyar, C. Gilmour, et al. A. Lozano-Gorrín, M. Konstantinidis, J. Freemantle, and M. Daly. 2020. "Structural and vibrational analyses of CePO4 synthetic monazite samples under an optimized precipitation process ." Journal of Molecular Structure , 1223: 129150 [10.1016/j.molstruc.2020.129150]

    Shkolyar, S., and J. D. Farmer. 2018. "Biosignature Preservation Potential in Playa Evaporites: Impacts of Diagenesis and Implications for Mars Exploration." Astrobiology, 18 (11): 1460-1478 [10.1089/ast.2018.1849]

    Shkolyar, S., E. J. Eshelman, J. D. Farmer, et al. D. Hamilton, M. G. Daly, and C. Youngbull. 2018. "Detecting Kerogen as a Biosignature Using Colocated UV Time-Gated Raman and Fluorescence Spectroscopy." Astrobiology, 18 (4): 431-453 [10.1089/ast.2017.1716]

    Suer, T.-A., S. Padovan, J. L. Whitten, et al. R. W. Potter, S. Shkolyar, M. Cable, C. Walker, J. Szalay, C. Parker, J. Cumbers, D. Gentry, T. Harrison, S. Naidu, H. J. Trammell, J. Reimuller, C. J. Budney, and L. L. Lowes. 2017. "FIRE - Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters: A conceptual design for a New Frontiers mission to Io." Advances in Space Research, 60 (5): 1080-1100 [10.1016/j.asr.2017.05.019]

    Hardersen, P., K. Balasubramaniam, and S. O. Shkolyar. 2013. "Chromospheric mass motions and intrinsic sunspot rotations for NOAA Active Regions 10484, 10486, and 10488 using ISOON data. ." The Astrophysical Journal, 773 (1): 60.

    Hardersen, P., K. Balasubramaniam, and S. O. Shkolyar. 2013. "Chromospheric mass motions and intrinsic sunspot rotations for NOAA Active Regions 10484, 10486, and 10488 using ISOON data. ." The Astrophysical Journal, 773 (1): 60.

    Non-Refereed

    Carrasco-Martos, S., G. Cataldo, L. Cully, et al. H. Fingerhut, T. Garrett, H. Hui, F. Keels, E. Lee, V. Martin, K. McCoy, Z. Merceruio, M. Neveu, M. Piltz, E. Reiff, L. Sandberg, S. Shkolyar, E. Timmons, and A. Willingham. 2009. ""The Odysseus Project: NASA's Vision for Reaching the Stars"." NASA GSFC Report

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Invited

    In Situ Fossil Biosignature Detection on Rocky and Icy Planetary Surface Missions using UV and Visible Raman and Fluorescence Spectroscopy.   

    2019

    S. Shkolyar. Oral presentation, #479337, Astrobiology Science Conference, Bellevue, WA.  

    Introduction to Astrobiology and my path there

    2019

    NASA Space Science Education Consortium (NSSEC) 2019 Annual Meeting, Greenbelt, MD.

    Mars biosignature studies: From the field to the lab to the rover.

    2018

    Presentation at several seminars, June through August 2018:

    • Inaugural JHU Applied Physics Lab astrobiology seminar
    • GSFC Solar system exploration seminar
    • Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) weekly seminar

    Other

    Investigating Oxalate Mineral Formations on Mars using CRISM Hyperspectral Imaging Data.

    2019

    L. M. Aaron, A. Steele, S. Shkolyar, et al (2019). Abstract #118-014, Astrobiology Science Conference, Bellevue, WA.

    Constraining elemental trends in Raman spectra of terrestrial and extraterrestrial insoluble organic matter (IOM) samples.  

    2018

    S. Shkolyar, L. R. Nittler, D. Foustoukos, C. M. O’D. Alexander, M. Fries, and A. Steele (2018). Abstract #P53G-3060, AGU Fall Meeting, Washington, DC.

    Detecting Kerogen as a Biosignature Using Colocated UV Time-Gated Raman and Fuorescence Spectroscopy

    2017

    Shkolyar, S., Eshelman, E., Farmer, D., Daly, M., Hamilton, D., and Youngbull, C. (2017). Abstract # P53D-2666, AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

    Finding Biosignatures in Mars Analog Samples Using Visible and UV-Gated Raman Spectroscopy, and UV Time-Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

    2017

    Shkolyar, S., Eshelman, E., Farmer, D., Daly, M., Hamilton, D., and Youngbull, C. (2017). Poster #3004, Astrobiology Science Conference, Mesa, AZ.

    Biosignature Preservation Potential in Playa Lake Evaporites in Verde Formation, Arizona: Implications for Mars Exploration.

    2016

    Shkolyar, S. and Farmer, J. D. (2016). Abstract #P31F-3756, AGU Fall Meeting, Washington, DC.

    Biosignature Preservation Potential in Playa Lake Evaporites in Verde Formation, Arizona: Implications for Mars Exploration.

    2016

    Shkolyar, S. and Farmer, J. D. (2016). Poster # 2003, Biosignature Preservation and Detection in Mars Analog Environments conference, Lake Tahoe, NV.

    Bringing 21st century science alive in an 8th-12th grade classroom via astrobiology.

    2015

    Shkolyar, S. (2015). Astrobiology Graduate Conference, Madison, WI.

    Informing Biosignature Studies on Mars: Evaluating Habitable Environments and Preservation Potential in Verde Valley, AZ.

    2015

    Shkolyar, S., and J. D. Farmer. (2015). Talk, AbGradCon, Madison, WI.

    Identifying High Priority Fossil Biosignatures in Mars Analog Materials Using Raman Spectroscopy.

    2014

    Shkolyar, S., Farmer, J. D., and Blacksberg, J. (2014). 2014 8th International Conference on Mars, Pasadena, CA.

    Fossil Biosignatures, Mars Sample Return, and Raman Spectroscopy.

    2014

    Shkolyar, S., Farmer, J. D., and Blacksberg, J. (2014).Talk, 2014 GeoRaman Conference, St. Louis, MO.

    Identifying fossil biosignatures and minerals in Mars analogs using time-resolved Raman spectroscopy

    2013

    Shkolyar, S., Farmer, J. D., Alerstam, E., Maruyama, Y., and Blacksberg, J. (2013). Poster #P51G-1802, AGU, San Francisco, CA.

    Planetary Surface Exploration Using Raman Spectroscopy for Minerals and Organics

    2013

    Blacksberg, J., Alerstam, E., Maruyama, Y., Charbon, E., Rossman, G., Shkolyar, S., and Farmer, J. D. (2013). Poster abstract #P51G-1803, 2013 AGU Fall Mtg., CA.

    Insights on fossil biosignature analysis of kerogen from fluorescence microscopy and Raman spectroscopy studies of samples of diverse Mars analog environments and ages

    2013

    Shkolyar, S. and J. D. Farmer (2013). Talk, 2012 Gordon Research Seminar on The Future of Geobiology, Ventura, CA.

    Towards choosing Martian samples for fossil biosignature analysis of kerogen: fluorescence microscopy and Raman spectroscopy applications to various analog samples

    2012

    S. Shkolyar and J. D. Farmer (2012). Poster abstract #P13A-1890, 2012 AGU Fall Mtg., San Francisco, CA, Dec. 3-7, 2012.

    Fly-by of Io with Repeat Encounters (FIRE): Designing a New Frontiers mission to the most volcanic body in the solar system

    2012

    S. Padovan, M. L. Cable, J. Cumbers, D. Gentry, T. N. Harrison, S. Naidu, C. W. Parker, R. Potter, J. Reimuller, S. Shkolyar, and the 2012 PSSS team. (2012). Poster, AGU Fall Mtg., San Francisco, CA.

    Scientific return of a dust analyzer at Io. International Workshop on Instrumentation for Planetary Missions

    2012

    Harrison, J., Szalay, C. W. Parker, R. Potter, S. Shkolyar, and 2012 PSSS team. (2012). (IPM-2012) #1139, Greenbelt, MD.

    Isothermal Heat Conduction Calorimetry for In Situ Detection of Extant Life.

    2012

    Youngbull, C., Shkolyar, S., et al. (2012). Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration, abstract #4250, LPI, Houston, TX. 

    Intrinsic Sunspot Rotations and Energetic Events

    2011

    Hardersen, P., Balasubramaniam, K., Shkolyar, S. B. Zak. (2011). American Astronomical Society, SPD meeting #42; Bulletin American Astronomical Society, 43, Las Cruces, NM.

    Habitability of the Sverefjelle, Svalbard Volcanic Basalt: Analog Mars Analysis of Biosignatures.

    2010

    Shkolyar, S. and Eigenbrode, J. (2010). Poster, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

    Big Explosions and Strong Gravity: Partnering with Girl Scouts and Expanding to the Nation. Poster

    2010

    Eyermann, S. E., Hornschemeier, A., and Shkolyar, S. (2010).  American Astronomical Society Meeting 220, DC.

    Professional Service

    2020-present, Proposal Reviewer, NASA GSFC Red Team

    2017 - present, NASA Panel Reviewer, in-person and external (NESSF, MDAP, Exobiology, FINNEST, ECA)

    2017-2018, Member, Carnegie Institution of Washington, GL-DTM Joint Department Library Committee

    2017, Session Convener, Conference Session Convener, AbSciCon 2017

    2015, Grant reviewer for ASU’s Graduate and Professional Student Association

    2014, Astrobiology Theme Group integrator, 8th International Mars Conference

    2012-2016, Reviewer, ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association Student Grant

    2011, Seminar Coordinator, ASU Astrobiology Coffee Hour Seminars

    2009, Volunteer, Mars Society 12th Annual International Convention

    2004-2007, UNF Society of Physics Students; President (2005-2007); Treasurer (2004).

    Brief Bio

    Svetlana's research interest involves life detection techniques and biosignature protocols on planetary surfaces using multiwavelength Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. She is also involved in studies that inform sample caching and return considerations on Perseverance Rover, participating as a collaborator on the mission. Her work has involved studies of false biosignature mimickers, spectral signatures of biogenic vs. abiogenic macromolecular carbon, protocols to help the Mars Sample Return campaign, and instrument development studies to inform missions to astrobiologically relevant targets in the solar system such as Europa and Mars.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Shkolyar, S., E. Lalla, M. Konstantinidis, et al. K. Cote, M. Daly, and A. Steele. 2020. "Detecting Ce3+ as a biosignature mimicker using UV time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy: Implications for planetary missions." Icarus 354 114093 [10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114093]

    Lalla, E., S. Shkolyar, C. Gilmour, et al. A. Lozano-Gorrín, M. Konstantinidis, J. Freemantle, and M. Daly. 2020. "Structural and vibrational analyses of CePO4 synthetic monazite samples under an optimized precipitation process ." Journal of Molecular Structure 1223 129150 [10.1016/j.molstruc.2020.129150]

    Shkolyar, S., and J. D. Farmer. 2018. "Biosignature Preservation Potential in Playa Evaporites: Impacts of Diagenesis and Implications for Mars Exploration." Astrobiology 18 (11): 1460-1478 [10.1089/ast.2018.1849]

    Shkolyar, S., E. J. Eshelman, J. D. Farmer, et al. D. Hamilton, M. G. Daly, and C. Youngbull. 2018. "Detecting Kerogen as a Biosignature Using Colocated UV Time-Gated Raman and Fluorescence Spectroscopy." Astrobiology 18 (4): 431-453 [10.1089/ast.2017.1716]

    Suer, T.-A., S. Padovan, J. L. Whitten, et al. R. W. Potter, S. Shkolyar, M. Cable, C. Walker, J. Szalay, C. Parker, J. Cumbers, D. Gentry, T. Harrison, S. Naidu, H. J. Trammell, J. Reimuller, C. J. Budney, and L. L. Lowes. 2017. "FIRE - Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters: A conceptual design for a New Frontiers mission to Io." Advances in Space Research 60 (5): 1080-1100 [10.1016/j.asr.2017.05.019]

    Hardersen, P., K. Balasubramaniam, and S. O. Shkolyar. 2013. "Chromospheric mass motions and intrinsic sunspot rotations for NOAA Active Regions 10484, 10486, and 10488 using ISOON data. ." The Astrophysical Journal 773 (1): 60

    Hardersen, P., K. Balasubramaniam, and S. O. Shkolyar. 2013. "Chromospheric mass motions and intrinsic sunspot rotations for NOAA Active Regions 10484, 10486, and 10488 using ISOON data. ." The Astrophysical Journal 773 (1): 60

    Non-Refereed

    Carrasco-Martos, S., G. Cataldo, L. Cully, et al. H. Fingerhut, T. Garrett, H. Hui, F. Keels, E. Lee, V. Martin, K. McCoy, Z. Merceruio, M. Neveu, M. Piltz, E. Reiff, L. Sandberg, S. Shkolyar, E. Timmons, and A. Willingham. 2009. ""The Odysseus Project: NASA's Vision for Reaching the Stars"." NASA GSFC Report

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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