Michaela Musilova is an astrobiologist with a research focus on life in extreme environments (extremophiles). Similar life could potentially be found on other planetary bodies, such as Mars, which is why extremophiles are very important for the search for extraterrestrial life. Michaela holds a PhD degree in physical geography, microbiology and astrobiology from the University of Bristol, UK. She studied at both University College London, UK and the California Institute of Technology, USA for her MSc degree in Planetary Science (completed with First Class Honours and a Dean of Science commendation).
Michaela is also a graduate from the International Space University (ISU)’s Space Studies Program, 2015. Michaela’s astrobiology and space research experience includes: working on astrobiology and planetary protection research projects at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; simulating lunar and planetary surfaces through NASA’s and the UK Space Agency’s MoonLite project; searching for exoplanets at the University of London Observatory; and being an analogue astronaut at the Mars Desert Research Station, USA. She is currently the Chair of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA), a visiting lecturer for ISU and the senior research adviser for Mission Control Space Services Inc..
Michaela returned to Slovakia to try to increase the number of space-related research/industry there, improve SOSA’s international collaborations and create a Slovak space research centre. She also enjoys participating in STEAM outreach activities from teaching at schools, giving public presentations, to working with the media and more, as well as encouraging people to pursue their dreams.