Dr David Flannery

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Adjunct Professor/Research Fellow

Doctor of Philosophy in Geology (University of New South Wales)

David joined the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences at QUT in 2019 to develop capabilities in the fields of deep-time geology and astrobiology.

David graduated from Macquarie University in 2009 with a major in paleobiology, before attending Peking University’s College of Urban and Environmental Science and MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences as a Visiting Research Scholar. He received a PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2014 for research into evidence for life and early terrestrial environments preserved in Archean (4-2.5 billion-year-old) rocks in Western Australia.

In 2014-2015, while a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), he studied molecular evidence for ancient microbial metabolisms preserved in Earth’s oldest known fossils, and worked on the development of lithochemistry instruments that were later selected to fly on NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Mission.

He then joined NASA as a full time research scientist based in the Planetary Science Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has designed and fielded numerous platforms for geological investigations in extreme environments, including multi-million-dollar projects funded by NASA.

David has broad interests in the fields of astrobiology, geology and sustainable development, and welcomes collaborations in these areas.

Projects (Chief investigator)

Additional information

David has successfully proposed and worked on a number of instrument development programs funded by NASA. Several of these technologies have applications in the mining sector. Some have flown on spacecraft.

He is a Long Term Planner for NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Mission, and a Co-Investigator of the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry, which was selected to fly on the same mission.