Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Associate



s.royle CV




Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





I am an astrobiologist/geochemist interested in the interactions between organic matter and inorganic minerals and this affects 'life detection' efforts on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system.

To this end I use a variety of mass spectrometry techniques to look at how minerals, especially perchlorate salts, react with organic compound 'biomarkers' under a variety of astrobiologically-relevant conditions. This point of this is to try and figure out what remnants of life we should actually be looking for and where we should look for them to maximise chances of a successful life-detection attempt (assuming there ever was something there to detect).



Royle S, Watson J, Zhang Y, et al., 2019, Solid Phase Micro Extraction: Potential for Organic Contamination Control for Planetary Protection of Life-Detection Missions to the Icy Moons of the Outer Solar System, Astrobiology, Vol:19, ISSN:1531-1074, Pages:1153-1166

Rettberg P, Antunes A, Brucato J, et al., 2019, Biological contamination prevention for outer solar system moons of astrobiological interest: What do we need to know?, Astrobiology, Vol:19, ISSN:1531-1074

Kminek G, Fellous J-L, Rettburg P, et al., 2019, The international planetary protection handbook, Space Research Today, Vol:205, ISSN:1752-9298, Pages:e1-e120

Montgomery W, Jaramillo EA, Royle S, et al., 2019, Effects of oxygen-containing salts on the detection of organic biomarkers on Mars and in terrestrial analogue soils, Astrobiology, Vol:19, ISSN:1531-1074, Pages:711-721

Jaramillo EA, Royle S, Claire M, et al., 2019, Indigenous organic-oxidized fluid interactions in the tissint Mars meteorite, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol:46, ISSN:0094-8276, Pages:3090-3098

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