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Anna Butterworth is a Planetary Scientist specializing in instrument and technique development for analyses of small samples probing solar system formation and evolution. She got her PhD (1998) in Analytical Chemistry from the Planetary and Space Research Institute at The Open University, UK, where she developed a gas chromatograph – isotope ratio mass spectrometer for analyzing dual isotopes of methane from small atmospheric samples, lunar soils and primitive meteorites. She continued there as a Postdoctoral researcher, developing a laser ablation – oxygen isotope ratio mass spectrometer, as a member of the NASA Discovery Genesis Mission. She moved to Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory in 2003 as an Assistant Research Physicist, to develop analytical techniques for the NASA Discovery Stardust Mission cometary and interstellar sample return. Research highlights included synchrotron x-ray spectro-microscopy of interstellar dust captured by the Stardust Interstellar Collector.
Anna Butterworth’s current role is Project Scientist for Astrobiology flight instrumentation development, with a newly founded laboratory at SSL and collaboration with Prof. Mathies group in Berkeley Dept. of Chemistry. Our focus is development of a high sensitivity instrument for measuring trace bio-signature molecules for Icy Moons exploration. Current projects include the Enceladus Organic Analyzer (EOA) for sampling and analysis of Enceladus plume ice, and the Microfabricated Organic Analyzer for Biosignatures instrument (MOAB) for a potential Europa Lander mission.