Solar System Exploration Division

Eric T. Parker

(Research AST, Planetary Studies)

Eric T. Parker's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.5107
Org Code: 691
Mail Code 691
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Eric Parker is an Astrochemist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His areas of interest span the fields of analytical chemistry, astrochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, environmental chemistry, prebiotic chemistry, astrobiology, origins of life, and Earth sciences. 

Research Interests

Dr. Eric Parker's Research Interests

Solar System: Astrochemistry

Applying liquid chromatography- and mass spectrometry-based analytical techniques to analyze complex mixtures for biomolecules considered to be important for life. This includes analyzing extraterrestrial samples (e.g., meteorites and micrometeorites) and samples resulting from laboratory simulations of prebiotic environments. Molecules of interest in these studies include amino acids and peptides.


Ph.D., Chemistry - Georgia Institute of Technology

M.S., Earth System Science - University of California at Irvine

B.S., Environmental Chemistry - University of California at San Diego


Research Space Scientist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

November 2016 - Present

Graduate Student

School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA

August 2012 - August 2016

Research Fellow

Marine Biological Laboratory - Greenbelt, MD

June 2012 - August 2012

Graduate Student

School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA

August 2009 - June 2012


Scripps Institution of Oceanography - La Jolla, CA

August 2008 - August 2009

Graduate Student

University of California at Irvine - Irvine, CA

June 2007 - July 2008


• American Chemical Society’s Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Astrochemistry

• First Runner-Up, Suddath Memorial Award for Most Outstanding Graduate Student, Presented by Georgia Tech Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience

• Astrobiology Science Conference Grant
• Georgia Tech College of Sciences Graduate Research Award
• Georgia Tech Career, Research, and Innovation Scholarship

• First Place, Research Talk Competition, Georgia Tech School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Research Symposium
• NASA Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award
• Center for Chemical Evolution (CCE) Service Award for Education, Outreach, and Diversity
• NASA Astrobiology Program Origins Grant

• NASA Astrobiology Institute Nordic Scholar
• Georgia Tech Research and Innovation Fellowship

• NASA Astrobiology Institute Santander Scholar
• NASA Planetary Biology Research Fellowship

• NASA Astrobiology Institute Origins Grant

• UCSD Undergraduate Research Scholar

• UCSD Physical Sciences William M. Hawkins, Jr. Award
• UCSD Physical Sciences Dean’s Undergraduate Award for Excellence
• California Water Environment Association Kirtland Brooks Scholarship



2024. "Enantioselective three-dimensional high-performance liquid chromatographic determination of amino acids in the Hayabusa2 returned samples from the asteroid Ryugu." Journal of Chromatography Open 5 100134 [10.1016/j.jcoa.2024.100134] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in samples of Ryugu formed in the interstellar medium." Science 382 (6677): 1411-1416 [10.1126/science.adg6304] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Investigating the impact of x‐ray computed tomography imaging on soluble organic matter in the Murchison meteorite: Implications for Bennu sample analyses." Meteoritics and Planetary Science [10.1111/maps.14111] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Soluble organic matter Molecular atlas of Ryugu reveals cold hydrothermalism on C-type asteroid parent body." Nature Communications 14 (1): 6525 [Full Text] [10.1038/s41467-023-42075-y] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Chemical evolution of primordial salts and organic sulfur molecules in the asteroid 162173 Ryugu." Nature Communications 14 (1): 5284 [10.1038/s41467-023-40871-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "The spatial distribution of soluble organic matter and their relationship to minerals in the asteroid (162173) Ryugu." Earth, Planets and Space 75 (1): 73 [10.1186/s40623-023-01792-w] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "PAHs, hydrocarbons, and dimethylsulfides in Asteroid Ryugu samples A0106 and C0107 and the Orgueil (CI1) meteorite." Earth, Planets and Space 75 (1): 28 [Full Text] [10.1186/s40623-022-01758-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Extraterrestrial Amino Acids and Amines Identified in Asteroid Ryugu Samples Returned by the Hayabusa2 Mission." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 347 42-57 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.gca.2023.02.017] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Soluble organic molecules in samples of the carbonaceous asteroid (162173) Ryugu." Science 379 (6634): eabn9033 [Full Text] [10.1126/science.abn9033] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Non‐protein amino acids identified in carbon‐rich Hayabusa particles." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 57 (4): 776-793 [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13794] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Low total abundances and a predominance of n ‐ω‐amino acids in enstatite chondrites: Implications for thermal stability of amino acids in the inner solar system." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 56 (11): 2118–2127 [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13757] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Extraterrestrial hydroxy amino acids in CM and CR carbonaceous chondrites." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 56 (6): 1005-1023 [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13661] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Analysis of amino acids, hydroxy acids, and amines in CR chondrites." Meteoritics & Planetary Science [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13586] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "A Sensitive Quantitative Analysis of Abiotically Synthesized Short Homopeptides using Ultraperformance Liquid Chromatography and Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry." Journal of Chromatography A 461509 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.chroma.2020.461509] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Abundant extraterrestrial amino acids in the primitive CM carbonaceous chondrite Asuka 12236." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 55 (9): 1979–2006 [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13560] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Extraterrestrial organic compounds and cyanide in the CM2 carbonaceous chondrites Aguas Zarcas and Murchison." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 55 (7): 1509-1524 [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13531] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Extraterrestrial amino acids and L-enantiomeric excesses in the CM2 carbonaceous chondrites Aguas Zarcas and Murchison." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 56 (1): 148–173 [Full Text] [10.1111/maps.13451] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Methodologies for Analyzing Soluble Organic Compounds in Extraterrestrial Samples: Amino Acids, Amines, Monocarboxylic Acids, Aldehydes, and Ketones." Life 9 (47): 30 pages [Full Text] [10.3390/life9020047] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Quantitation of α-hydroxy acids in complex prebiotic mixtures via liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry." Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 30 2043-2051 [10.1002/rcm.7684] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Amino acids generated from hydrated Titan tholins: Comparison with Miller–Urey electric discharge products." Icarus 237 182-189 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.icarus.2014.04.042] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Conducting Miller-Urey Experiments." Journal of Visualized Experiments 83 1-13 [Full Text] [10.3791/51039] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "A Plausible Simultaneous Synthesis of Amino Acids and Simple Peptides on the Primordial Earth." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 53 8132-81336 [Full Text] [10.1002/ange.201403683] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "On the gas-particle partitioning of soluble organic aerosol in two urban atmospheres with contrasting emissions: 2. Gas and particle phase formic acid." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 117 [10.1029/2012jd017912] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "On the gas-particle partitioning of soluble organic aerosol in two urban atmospheres with contrasting emissions: 1. Bulk water-soluble organic carbon." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 117 [10.1029/2012jd017908] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Prebiotic synthesis of methionine and other sulfur-containing organic compounds on the primitive Earth: a contemporary reassessment based on an unpublished 1958 Stanley Miller experiment." Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 41 201-212 [Full Text] [10.1007/s11084-010-9228-8] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Primordial synthesis of amines and amino acids in a 1958 Miller H2S-rich spark discharge experiment." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108 (14): 5526-5531 [Full Text] [10.1073/pnas.1019191108] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Enhanced synthesis of alkyl amino acids in Miller's 1958 H2S experiment." Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 41 569-574 [10.1007/s11084-011-9253-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Extraterrestrial amino acids in the Almahata Sitta meteorite." Meteoritics and Planetary Science 45 (10-11): 1695-1709 [Full Text] [10.1111/j.1945-5100.2010.01094.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

Professional Societies

International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life


2011 - Present