Lynn Rothschild

Evolutionary Biologist and Astrobiologist



Dr. Lynn Rothschild is an evolutionary biologist/ astrobiologist / synthetic biologist at NASA Ames. Her research has focused on how life, particularly microbes, has evolved in the context of the physical environment, both here and potentially elsewhere, and how we might tap into “Nature’s toolbox” to advance the field of synthetic biology. Field sites range from Australia to Africa to the Andes, from the ocean to 100,000 feet on a balloon. Rothschild has brought her expertise in extremeophiles and evolutionary biology to the field of synthetic biology, showing how synthetic biology can enhance NASA’s missions. She is the faculty advisor of the Stanford-Brown award-winning iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine) team. Her lab is currently working projects as diverse as recreating the first proteins de novo to biomining to using synthetic biology to make bricks on Mars or the Moon. Rothschild is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the California Academy of Sciences and the Explorers Club.