Morgan L. Cable
Earth 4D: Subsurface Science & Exploration
Dr. Cable is the Science Lead for the Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS) concept and Co-Deputy PI of the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) Instrument aboard the Mars 2020 (Perseverance) rover. She has worked on the Cassini Mission, is a Co-Investigator of the Dragonfly mission to Titan, and is serving multiple roles on Europa Clipper. She previously served as the Ocean Worlds Program Area Scientist for the Planetary Mission Formulation Office, and as supervisor of the Astrobiology and Ocean Worlds Group. Morgan’s research focuses on organic and biomarker detection, through both in situ and remote sensing techniques. She has designed receptor sites for the detection of bacterial spores, the toughest form of life, and developed novel protocols to analyze organic molecules using small, portable microfluidic sensors. Currently Dr. Cable performs laboratory experiments to study the unique organic chemistry of Titan. She and colleagues were the first to discover minerals made exclusively of organics that may exist on Titan’s surface. Morgan also conducts fieldwork in extreme environments on Earth, searching for life in places such as the Atacama Desert, ice fields at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, nutrient-limited lakes at the base of Wind Cave (the densest cave system in the world) in South Dakota, fumarole-generated ice caves of the Mount Meager Volcano in Canada, and lava fields of Iceland.
- NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal for leadership roles in advancing NASA’s missions, 2020.
- One of the ‘Talented Twelve’ rising stars in Chemistry, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018.
- Distinguished Alumnus, Florida Atlantic University, 2011.
- Herbert Newby McCoy Award for contribution to the science of chemistry, Caltech, 2010.
- Cable, M., Runčevski, T., Maynard-Casely,, H. E., Vu, T. H. & Hodyss, R. (2021). Titan in a test tube: Organic co-crystals and implications for Titan mineralogy. Accounts of Chemical Research, 54(15), 3050-3059. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.1c00250
- Cable, M. L., Porco, C. C., Glein, C. R., German, C. R. et al. (2021). The science case for a return to Enceladus. Planetary Science Journal, Ocean Worlds Special Issue, 2(132), 1-12. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/PSJ/abfb7a
- Cable, M. L., Vu, T. H., Malaska, M. J., Maynard-Casely, H. E., Choukroun, M. & Hodyss, R. (2019) A co-crystal between acetylene and butane: A potentially ubiquitous molecular mineral on Titan. Earth and Space Chemistry, 3(12), 2808-2815.
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