GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT: JENNIFER BENTZ
Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Graduate Research Focus:
My research focuses on characterizing the chemistry and mineralogy of phyllosilicates and evaporites in saline mudflats and playas as Mars analogues. Hopefully this research will aid in identifying high priority targets for a Mars sample return mission containing possible biosignatures of past life. My field sites are located on the Andean Altiplano in Bolivia, the Western Canadian Prairies, and the Columbia River Flood Basalts in Washington.
Why I chose to do graduate studies:
I guess I just love research. There is something truly satisfying about contributing to the global pool of scientific knowledge, no matter how small your contribution may seem.
Student involvement/extracurricular activities I am involved with:
This past year I have been involved with the Jollliffe Club as Vice President. I am also on a departmental slow pitch team, soccer team, and Frisbee team. I play in the Kingston Women’s Soccer Club as well.
The professor(s) or course which has influenced me the most:
I would have to say both of my supervisors: Dr. Richard Farrell from the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan who supervised my Master’s research; and Dr. Ronald Peterson who has really nourished my love of Mars and planetary science.
After I graduate, I plan to:
be looking into potential postdoctoral research positions abroad.
One big goal I’d like to accomplish during my lifetime:
I need to go into outer space someday.