Zita Martins is SingularityU Portugal expert in Space Missions & Space Technologies. She is an Astrobiologist, an Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), and the Co-Director of the MIT-Portugal Program. She works in the field of Astrobiology and Cosmochemistry, and her research interests include the detection of bio-signatures in space missions and the potential contribution of organic compounds present in meteorites and comets to the origin of life on Earth.
Zita has been actively involved in space research, including participation in several space missions. She worked on the Urey Mars Organic and Oxidant detector. She is a Co-Investigator of two European Space Agency (ESA) space missions (OREOcube and EXOcube), which will be installed in the International Space Station. She is also a Member of the Portuguese Consortium of the ARIEL space mission from ESA, a Member of the “Organic macromolecules" sub-team of the Japanese space mission Hayabusa2 from JAXA, and the only Portuguese scientist in the class-F space mission Comet Interceptor from ESA.
Zita Martins is a Committee member of the Astrobiology Society of Britain (ASB), the Portuguese Representative of the Executive Committee of the European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA), an Expert Member of ESA Life Sciences Working Group (LSWG), a Member of the Leonard Medal Committee and a Member of the Jessberger Award Committee, both from the Meteoritical Society.
She was selected by the BBC as an Expert Women Scientist, and as one of “100 Women in Science" by the Portuguese Agency of Science and Technology “Ciência Viva”. In 2018 she received a Barbie Award 2018 on the International Girl Child Day for being an inspiration to girls.
In 2015, Zita Martins was appointed Oficial da Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada (OSE) by the President of Portugal for exceptional and outstanding merits in science.
Main Keynote Topic: Space Missions & Space Technologies
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