Maggie Turnbull, PhD

Chair, Interstellar Space, Stars & Destination

Maggie Turnbull, PhD

Chair, Interstellar Space, Stars & Destination

Biography

Dr. Turnbull is an astrobiologist whose expertise is in identifying planetary systems that are capable of supporting life as we know it. She developed a Catalog of Habitable Stellar Systems for use in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and she has studied the spectrum of the Earth to identify telltale signatures of life.  She is currently leading two teams to prepare for NASA’s WFIRST mission, slated for launch in 2025.  WFIRST will be the first mission to directly image planetary systems orbiting the nearest sunlike stars, and the first mission with the hope of determining the atmospheric composition and surface characteristics of those planets.  When not thinking about alien worlds and missions to get us there, Maggie can be found keeping honey bees, raising monarchs, tapping sugar maples, and cross country skiing across the north woods with her dogs.