Elisabeth (Libby) Hausrath

Associate Professor of Geoscience
Expertise: Mars geochemistry, Water-rock interactions, Astrobiology, Snow dynamics

Biography

Elisabeth (Libby) Hausrath is an aqueous geochemist and astrobiologist who investigates interactions between water and minerals, and the impacts of life on those interactions. She and her team use a combination of field work, laboratory experiments, and modeling to investigate signatures of aqueous alteration and life, the rates at which water-rock interactions occur, and how they differ on Earth and on other planets such as Mars. Their work helps understand chemical weathering, water chemistry, nutrient release, the formation of soils, and potential signatures of life on Earth and Mars.

Hausrath and her team also explore snow dynamics, particularly the interactions between snow algae, microorganisms, and minerals in the nutrient-poor environment present in snow, which may also be an analog to Mars.

Hausrath serves on NASA's Returned Sample Science Board, which offers scientific input into aspects of the upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission.

Education

  • Dual-Title Ph.D. Program in Geosciences and Astrobiology, Penn State University
  • Sc.B Geology-Chemistry, Brown University

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Elisabeth (Libby) Hausrath In The News

September 16, 2021
UNLV science professors Libby Hausrath and Arya Udry are finally getting an opportunity to analyze data after being selected by NASA for the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission.
September 15, 2021
The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences has a rich history dating back more than a century, from the original focus on mining engineering, to today's interdisciplinary focus on earth, energy, and materials sciences and engineering.
May 28, 2021
More than half a century after Neil Armstrong took mankind’s giant leap on the moon, another space race is heating up. This time, the promising new frontier for Earthlings is Mars, the planet next door.
May 26, 2021
The space race to Mars is heating up, but the reality of getting earthlings to the red planet is much more challenging than some of the overly-zealous space folk make it seem. We’re looking at you, Elon Musk.

Articles Featuring Elisabeth (Libby) Hausrath

Campus News | October 7, 2021
A collection of news stories featuring collaboration and reflection at UNLV.
Campus News | June 8, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting celebration, health, and progress at UNLV.
Campus News | March 11, 2021
A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.
illustration of rover landing
Research | February 18, 2021
Before you tune into today's Mars landing, read up on UNLV's role in the search for life on the Red Planet.