Sergio Parra is a doctoral student in Geobiology in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Advised by Dr. Victoria Orphan, his work at Caltech primarily focuses on characterizing the spatial distribution of active chemotrophs hosted by diverse marine carbonate structures and investigating the role of internal structure and local environment in sustaining these active marine microbial communities. His work is more broadly a reflection of his interest in ocean world astrobiology and understanding factors controlling habitability in terrestrial analog environments.
Sergio was also a scientific crew member aboard the R/V Western Flyer on two research cruises in 2019 and 2020 facilitated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) investigating sediment-hosted microbial activity at ‘cold’ methane seeps in Santa Monica Basin. He completed an M.Sc. in Geobiology in June 2020.
Before Caltech, Sergio completed a B.Sc. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with a Minor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.