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Professor Marilyn Fogel Serves as Guest Editor for Elements Magazine

November 7, 2013

Professor Marilyn Fogel with the School of Natural Sciences served as guest editor for the October issue of Elements, an international magazine of mineralogy, geochemistry and petrology, and contributed two articles for the publication.

The issue is titled “Nitrogen and Its (Biogeocosmo) Chemical Cycling” and Fogel was one of three guest editors.

Her articles are “Nitrogen: Highly Volatile yet Surprisingly Compatible,” written with her co-editors Gray E. Bebout and Pierre Cartigny; and “Nitrogen in Extraterrestrial Environments: Clues to the Possible Presence of Life,” with Andrew Steele.

Bebout is a former postdoctoral fellow from Fogel’s lab in Washington, D.C. Together, they published one of the first papers on nitrogen and its isotopic composition in metamorphic rocks, Bebout asked if Fogel wanted to co-edit a volume on nitrogen for Elements more than a year ago, she said.

They added Cartigny as a co-editor, and together they selected authors for the articles and wrote an introductory article for the volume. Fogel and Steele also wrote an article based on their research.

Fogel has been researching astrobiology since 1998, including the search for life in the universe and understanding the origins of our solar system and planets. She and Steele who I have traveled with to Svalbard, the northernmost part of Norway, to test equipment that is on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) producing data about Mars right now.

In her lab at UC Merced, Fogel continues some of this work, particularly measuring extractable simple nitrogen forms (nitrate and ammonium) on a broad suite of meteorites — something that has never been measured before — and finding a surprising amount of these molecules, she said.

Once her lab is completed, she will continue collaborations with colleagues as part of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, an international virtual institute for studying astrobiology.