Laia Ribas presented Hypatia I at ICM-CSIC to highlight the importance of female role models in science

Laia Ribas, GreenHab Officer of Hypatia I, presented «Hypatia I: A multi-disciplinary, inter-generational, female Catalan crew travels to Mars» at the headquarters of one of Hypatia’s sponsors: the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona. 

In her lecture, Ribas talked about the social gender imbalance between male and female scientists in STEM careers and the importance of promoting female role models in science. In addition, she presented the goals of the Hypatia I mission at the Mars Research Desert Station (MDRS) and described the four projects that she will develop during her stay at the base –three of them related to space-biology and outreach activities. 

Ribas’ first experiment, sponsored by the ICM-CSIC, will study the effects of gravity on zebrafish to better understand the alterations of the epigenetic changes during larvae development thanks to a portable DNA sequencer. With this project, she will highlight the importance of aquaculture to provide enough fish for human consumption on and beyond Earth.

Her second experiment will involve using a bottle cap known as Light Pills, a project developed by Hypatia I Back-up Engineer Helena Arias and awarded both nationally and internationally. More specifically, Ribas will attempt to sterilize the bottle cap to obtain drinkable water. For this purpose, she will use the commercial kit MicroBIOMETER

Ribas’ third project is in the educational field. In particular, she will work with students from the public primary school La Marinada de El Masnou, who will follow her experience within the mission and perform several in-class experiments analyzing “Martial soil”. 

Finally, Ribas also explained that Hypatia I is working alongside  Lastuf to produce game cards that highlight the role of women in a space mission. 

You can watch Laia’s talk here: