Julie Hartz has an initial background in physics and geoscience that she acquired in her home country,
Switzerland. After a year spent on travels and internships in marine biology and numerical modelling at the French National Geological Survey, she finally chose to settle far from home, in Sydney, Australia, to specialise in
geochemistry. Soon after she started her postgraduate degree at Macquarie University, Julie discovered the interdisciplinary
field of Astrobiology and decided to dedicate her academic life to the search for life in the Universe.
Her ongoing and already awarded research focuses on the traces of microbial life that are preserved in rock samples from Martian analogues.
Adventurer at heart, Julie flew a plane solo for the first time at the age of 15. She is always seeking the next challenge on land, in the air, or under water. Certified deep scuba diver, Julie recently let go of air tanks and regulators to start diving deep under water on a single breath. Committed to empower women in sports and science, in 2012 she co-founded the first Women’s Soccer Team of her home University in Switzerland that is still thriving in the regional championship today.
Cristina Vázquez-Reynel is an enthusiastic aerospace engineer passionate about all areas of aerospace
design, materials and composites. She possesses natural leadership qualities and is an effective relationship builder
with strong team-working and problem-solving skills, always trying to create a positive team environment.
Cristina has been enrolled in several projects during her academic career. During her MSc, her group project and thesis were related to the Augmented Reality technology applied to Aircraft Maintenance. Currently she works as a Design engineer for L3Harris and her day-to-day tasks consist of finding creative solutions in the mechanical engineering field, and transforming these ideas into real products. This includes customer requirements, structural integrity, material properties and manufacturing processes. During her career she has gained essential skills such as how to work with different people and how to promote teamwork. She is passionate about facing engineering challenges with proactivity and initiative, always ready to share new ideas.
In her spare time, Cristina likes playing volleyball and traveling around the world.
Laurène recently graduated with a Diplôme d'Ingénieur, the equivalent of an MSc in Aeronautical Engineering, from ESILV.
Her curriculum also included a year at Politecnico di Milano in their master of Aeronautical Engineering.
She participated in the PERSEUS project initiated by the Directorate of Launchers of the CNES in which she studied
vibrations' reduction on an experimental rocket to ensure the launcher's structure
could tolerate the vibrations originated from lift-off.
A 6-month internship at the European Space Agency concluded her studies. She joined the Vega program and worked on the SSMS
(Small Spacecraft Mission Service) and Space Rider projects. On the first project, she coded a programme on Python allowing to
determine the best configuration of springs on the separation systems to avoid any angular velocity, and by extension, collision.
She built the database of the second project.
Always eager to challenge herself, she's working on her Private Pilot's Licence and enjoys kick-boxing. She's currently in Rome studying Space Transportation Systems which will help her prepare in the best way her experiments on the MDRS.
Marta Ferran-Marqués graduated in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. She then completed an MSc in Aerospace Materials at Cranfield University, where she was offered a co-joint PhD position with Sensor Coating Systems Ltd. and Cranfield University. Marta’s objective is to understand and improve the Thermal History Coating, a heat-sensitive luminescent coating that can sense and memorize temperatures up to 1'600°C and potentially open up a range of new application opportunities. This will be the first ever post operation surface temperature measurement technique to measure at this elevated range. Marta is awarded with a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 scholarship. The Industrial Fellowship scheme is conducted by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to annually award a three-year research scholarship to approximately eight “young scientists or engineers of exceptional promise”.
In her spare time, Marta likes to sing, play the guitar, and dance.
Paula Peixoto graduated in 2017 in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
She decided to pursue a Nanomedical career by completing an MSc in Translational Biomedical Research at
Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Spain. Today, she works in the laboratory studying the pathogenesis of immune-mediated neuronal disorders.
The main objective of her project is not only to understand how information is long-term encoded in the brain,
but also develop an animal model that could help understand several neurological rare disorders.
During her time at Vall d'Hebron hospital, Paula will be trained as an animal research assistant and a data scientist.
During her Master's research, she worked in a hospital environment with patients and multiple human samples such as blood, muscle biopsies, CSF biopsies, and different cell lines.
Paula has strong organising and planning skills as well as excellent problem-solving skills. She is productive and efficient under stress conditions. As part of an all-female crew, Paula believes that women in science are an extremely valuable asset in shaping our world's future trajectory. The whole team makes a statement, women and science are a perfect combination.
Kelly Vaughan-Taylor completed BSc majoring in Geology and Geophysics from Macquarie University. She also has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology. She is currently undertaking a Master of Research degree in Earth Sciences combining elements from both geophysics and geochemistry. Her multidisciplinary skills allow her to conduct an array of experiments in various scientific fields depending on the mission goals. During her time at Macquarie University she has also completed many field surveys, particularly in desert environments. These field surveys allowed her to develop skills in areas such as mapping, rock identification and sampling, use of geophysical survey equipment, survey design, post processing data and report writing. Kelly has also conducted extracurricular projects at Macquarie University including (i) testing thermodynamic models against real rock samples and (ii) comparing rare earth element fractionation of different xenoliths depending on their source material. She has developed a passion for space exploration and has enrolled in many university courses focusing on extra terrestrial exploration.