Amanda Bendia

During a course in Biology I learned about Astrobiology and microorganisms called extremophiles, which are capable of surviving in extreme conditions, such as in volcanoes, in the deep ocean, at the poles, and, who knows, outside Earth as well? It was love at first sight! This fascinated me completely and changed the path of my life. Questions of “What is life and how did it originate?” and “Are we alone in the Universe?” have given me goosebumps since childhood. I studied Biophysics in my Master’s degree, focusing on the survival of bacteria from Antarctica exposed to ultraviolet C radiation; this is one of the factors that would most impact survival of possible lifeforms outside of Earth’s atmosphere. I did my PhD at the University of Sao Paulo with the goal of understanding how the extremophiles of an active marine volcano in Antarctica can withstand such extreme conditions, and the implications of this for Astrobiology. I have participated in three Brazilian Antarctic Expeditions to collect samples, and they were simply fascinating! Antarctica is unimaginably spectacular! It really does look like we're on a different planet! I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the USP Oceanographic Institute, and I am continuing to study the wonderful extremophiles of Antarctica. I try to reconcile research with scientific outreach and try to show people how just having a little curiosity and dedication can help them also venture to the most inhospitable places of our planet (and who knows where else) to study life.   

Posts by Amanda 


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