UCL Earth Sciences


Scientist Spotlight: Amy Perrio

4 May 2023

Amy Perrio is a final year UCL Earth Science MSci student and has just been awarded funding by the Astrobiological Society of Britain to undertake an internship looking at inorganic secondary mineral formation on Mars at AstrobiologyOU.

Amy Perrio wearing a white helmet and clipboard looking down whilst walking along a beach

Hi I’m Amy, a final year Earth Science Msci student.

I have always loved nature and the environment. A degree in Earth Science has been so beneficial to me as it has offered me versatility to explore different fields. Not only this, but it has also given me the capacity to merge fields and these interdisciplinary skills are vital for subjects such as geochemistry or astrobiology.

These two fields are where I have now found my passion. I find it fascinating to to try and piece together the stories of mineral formation and how these can relate to potential biosignatures. I was particularly captured by previous palaeobiological debates concerning the characterisation of bona fide biosignatures. Understanding the nuances between a biosignature or biomorphic feature has particularly interested me because of how this may be applied to astrobiological targets.

Currently, I am completing my thesis on the oscillatory origin of botryoidal minerals, the specifics of how such minerals form is still ambiguous in research. By understanding the morphology and mineralogy of Botryoidal minerals, I will paint a picture of how oscillatory reactions lead to their genesis.

I have just been awarded funding from the Astrobiological Society of Britain for an internship at AstrobiologyOU looking at inorganic secondary mineral formation on Mars which is very exciting!