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Crew 142

DIGBY TARVIN - COMMANDER

Digby Tarvin is a software engineer specializing in real-time and embedded control systems and operating systems. He was born in Australia, studied Computer Science at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He moved to the UK in 1993 and has recently completed a second degree in Physics, Astronomy and Planetary Science at the Open University.

Digby has a long-time interest in space exploration and in addition to Mars Society Conventions, he has participated in three Planetary Society expeditions, including Italy, Antarctica and Belize, attended several events organized by the International Research School of Planetary Sciences, and was a a crewmember of the Mars Society's Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station Crew 8 in 2003, and commanded MDRS crew 24 in 2004. He enjoys skiing and other adventure sports, travel, reading, and pretty much anything else that involves learning something interesting.




CHRISTIANE HEINICKE – EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CREW ENGINEER

Christiane is a German physicist with experience in engineering. She is interested in anything that moves, be it air flowing over wheat fields or glaciers sliding down mountain valleys. Just a few months ago, she moved to Finland where she is currently working on sea ice.

Snow, ice, and cold – wherever you find these, Christiane feels at home. She likes hiking, skiing, and camping in remote areas. This is what sparked her interest in the MA365 simulation.

At MDRS, she will build a solar cooker to support the work of the crew's biologists and test the feasibility of studies she would like to conduct on Devon Island during MA365.


CARMEL JOHNSTON - SCIENCE OFFICER

Carmel Johnston is from Whitefish, MT and graduated from Montana State University in 2011 with a BS in Environmental Science and a focus on Soil and Water Science. She then pursued a MS in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at MSU. Her research focused on the effects of permafrost thaw on trace gas emissions and pathways in peatland thaw features of Western Alaska. The isolation of a remote field site was the perfect match for her pure enthusiasm for the outdoors, the sounds of nature, and science. Upon graduation, she spent nine months in New Zealand and Australia exploring land and livestock management, drought tolerant crops, invasive species, and stunning hiking trails. She is a hydrology teacher at the Montana Natural Resources Youth Camp and is involved in several volunteer organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, hunting, fishing, skiing, biking, knitting, baking, and playing with the cutest nephew in the world.


VINCENT W. COLJEE – HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER AND CREW BIOLOGIST

Vincent Coljee is a scientist with a diverse background spanning from biophysics, chemistry to various sub-disciplines of biology and
therapeutics. Vincent worked in the biotech industry developing a new concept in biotherapeutics, human recombinant polyclonal antibodies, based on an very old idea, transferring immunity of those who are immune to those who require that immunity but in a more concentrated, more consistent and more effective manner. Vincent pioneered this novel technology at Symphogen A/S in Denmark from 2000 to 2005 and then expanded on the technology at Excelimmune, Inc., a company he founded and was the Chief Scientific officer of from 2006 to December 2012.

Meanwhile Vincent had also started a collaboration with Mara Prentiss at Harvard University in 1999 and helped develop a biophysics program studying DNA and DNA-protein interactions. Among the many published discoveries are why most species prefer 37°C and why life becomes much harder below 15°C and how the basis of sexual reproduction is inherent in the chemistry of DNA. In 2005, Vincent became a visiting scholar at Harvard University and has been a Harvard staff member in the Physics department since 2005. My interests in history and science stem from a very young age, and have been going strong since. I have built up a fairly substantial science fiction collection over my lifetime and have been known to attempt to devour libraries in my pre-parent days. Among that reading came an interest in space exploration and exo-biology, a
pursuit I can now live out in reality at MDRS and possibly later on at MA365.


CYPRIEN VERSEUX - CREW BIOLOGIST

Hello! I am Cyprien, Crew 142 Biologist. Besides usual motivations (science, contribution to Mars exploration, Mars-like landscapes, challenges and freeze-dried chicken), I am here in this giant tin can as a finalist for the MA365 mission. When not trying to survive in the desert, I am a PhD student co-directed between the University of Rome Tor Vergata (in Italy) and NASA Ames (in California). To make it simple, my main research goal is to contribute to the development of autonomous, Earth-independent life support systems for Mars exploration. Figuring out how to live there off the land, using biology and on-site resources. This is planned to be the first chapter of my career: getting there.  If I succeed, a second chapter will be dedicated to the search for extant and/or present life on site. Before that I grew up Paris area, in France, where I got Master’s degrees in biotechnologies (at Sup’Biotech Paris, Villejuif) and in systems and synthetic biology (at the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology, Evry). I now have the great pleasure to apply what I learned there to astrobiology and space exploration. On Earth (or close to Earth) and outside the lab I enjoy skydiving, road trips with a tent and a few friends, swimming in lakes and seas, writing, reading a wide range of books and trying new things (the term “things” is slightly broad, so let’s be more specific: challenging, intellectually stimulating and/or beautiful new things).  

During these two weeks, our main biology projects involve plants: trying to grow them in an analogue of Martian soil enriched with resources which will be easily available on site, using strategies as simple as using urine (here mock urine, made in the lab) as a nitrogen source and as twisted as growing cyanobacteria first to fix nitrogen, leach the Martian soil analogue and produce organic material. I will also take this opportunity to collect microbial samples for later lab work and train for MA365.


PARASTESH DARIO - CREW JOURNALIST

Parastesh Dario was born in Rome the 15 of July 1986.

After finishing the high school at "F.Enriques" Scientific high school in Ostia, he studied at Sapienza University of Rome, where he graduated
in January 2010 in Aerospace Engineer. He took his Master degree in Aeronautical Engineer in March 2013 with a vote of 109/110 on a major in Flight Dynamics.

- From July 2010 to April 2011 as the Motor Group Head, he was involved in the student competition Design Build Fly organized by the AIAA in United States, which was settled in Tucson for that year.

Since December 2007 he's a referee for the Italian Referees Association, and initially employed in Soccer, he then  moved to 5-a-side Soccer. In may 2014 he started to work for Biofly company in Ardea (Rome), working on light systems for helipads and airports, avionic systems and drones.

Currently Dario is candidate for Mars Arctic 365, in a mission that could lead him to Canada in a one year long simulation of  martian conditions, running experiments for both future astronauts and people living on Earth.
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