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Dr Abigail Allwood

Advance Awards Science and Technology Winner and Global Australian Award Winner

Dr Abigail Allwood is at the cutting-edge of space exploration. She is one of only seven principal investigators developing innovative instruments to accompany the Mars 2020 Rover expedition. Not only is she the first Australian, but also the first woman scientific lead on a Mars mission. During Abigail’s exceptional career she has authored countless articles, is a visiting scholar at California Institute of Technology and acts as an editorial board member and review scientist for some of the world’s leading space agencies. Perhaps, most importantly, Abigail is a passionate advocate for science education and believes that Australia needs to invest more in STEM education and opportunities if we are to curtail the brain drain of our brightest minds and talents.

Dr Abigail Allwood is well recognised as a world-leading field geologist, astrobiologist and research scientist with NASA’s prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her focus is the Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry (a $39M project involving some of the world’s best scientists and engineers) which will examine rock chemistry as part of the Mars 2020 Rover expedition. Abigail has authored over 60 journal articles, abstracts and conference papers and is a review panel scientist for NASA, European Space Agency and Swiss National Science Foundation. Earlier in her career, Abigail was responsible for groundbreaking-work proving billion-year-old rock formations in Australia’s Pilbara region held records of Earth’s oldest life forms. The discovery made the cover of the renowned Nature international journal.