Meet the Fellows

Whether exploring NASA's missions in planetary science or developing a better understanding of human exploration and space operations, Fellows in the NASA Postdoctoral Program are contributing to national priorities in scientific exploration and fundamental research. 

Learn more about the NASA Fellows and what their specific research.

List of current NPP Fellows

List of former NPP Fellows

Where can an NPP Fellowship take you? Read about a current Fellows and NPP alumni and how their fellowship experience propelled their careers with NASA and beyond.

  • Rebecca Prescott

    Image of Rebecca Prescott

    Even microorganisms depend on their community to grow, which can help them survive in harsh environments, such as in Hawaiian lava caves or on ancient Mars. That’s among the findings in a study conducted by Rebecca Prescott, Ph.D., a microbial ecologist who studies quorum sensing, which is a complex communication system between microbes that uses chemicals to allow microbial communities to coordinate their activities.

  • Gioia Massa

    Image of Gioia Massa

    When Gioia Massa, Ph.D., was 12 years old, she was introduced to space plant production research at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). With the goal of becoming a project member, she pursued every opportunity to work at KSC, as an intern, project councilor, student investigator and postdoctoral fellow. Ultimately, her journey led to the role of NASA project scientist. 

  • Hyunju Connor, Ph.D.

    Image of Hyunju Connor, Ph.D.

    As a graduate of a doctoral program in physics, Hyunju Connor, Ph.D., was interested in an opportunity to collaborate with scientists at a world-renowned research laboratory. Now, as a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she finds herself in daily close proximity to a well-known space physics institute.

  • Rika Anderson, Ph.D.

    Image of Rika Anderson, Ph.D.
    Carleton College faculty member Rika Anderson, Ph.D., researches microbial evolution in hydrothermal vents and the early evolution of microbial metabolisms. Anderson shares the skills and research network she developed as a fellow in the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) with her students.