Dawn Y. Sumner
Dawn Sumner's research focuses on reconstructing ancient environments on early Earth and Mars and the early evolution of bacteria, including the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis. Her group studies everything from the environmental settings, geochemistry and morphology of Archean microbialites to the morphology, climate response, and genomics of modern microbial communities growing in ice-covered Antarctic lakes to the stratigraphy and geochemistry of sedimentary rocks on Mars. Sumner is a member of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, helping the rover Curiosity explore ancient environments in Gale Crater on Mars. She regularly shares her research and adventures with the public.
Sumner is dedicated to helping students of all backgrounds prepare for careers in science as well as to creating educational and work environments that are inclusive and supportive, including through the use of feminist research and theory.