Department / group: Biological & Environmental Sciences
Google Scholar URL: N/A

Research interests:

My research interests are focused on two planetary science disciplines: Meteoritics and astrobiology. I approach these sciences from overlapping interests in environmental geochemistry, ecology, structural geology, microscopy, biomineralisation, and petrology. My current research is on investigating the interactions between astromaterials and extant life, from an early Earth perspective and a Martian astrobiology perspective. During my PhD candidature, I investigated the microbial ecology, geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry of fallen meteorites to answer astrobiological questions of habitability on planetary surfaces. Ongoing secondary research interests involve silicate partial melting and impact-induced fluid alteration of asteroidal parent bodies, as well as early- Earth extremophile habitats and abiogenesis geochemistry.

Career history:

2018 – University of Stirling, UK (Commonwealth Rutherford Fellow)
2018 – Monash University, Australia (Research Assistant)
2017 – Monash University, Australia (Assitant Lecturer)

Active research projects:

1) Exogenic meteorite microbial habitation
2) Structural controls for fluid and volatile transport in parent bodies

Recent publications:

JUSTIN I. SIMON, JEFF I. CUZZI, KAITLYN A. MCCAIN, MICHEAL J. CATO, PETER A. CRISTOFFERSEN, KENT R. FISHER, POORNA SRINIVASAN, ALASTAIR W. TAIT, DANNY M. OLSON, JEFFREY D. SCARGLE, 2018, “Particle size distributions in chondritic meteorites: evidence for pre-planetesimal histories”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 494, p 69-82.

ALASTAIR W. TAIT, SIOBHAN A. WILSON, ANDREW G. TOMKINS, EMMA J. GAGEN, STEWART J. FALLON, GORDON SOUTHAM, 2017, “Evaluation of meteorites as habitats for terrestrial microorganisms: Results from the Nullarbor Plain, Australia, a Mars analogue site”, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 215, p 1-16.

ALASTAIR W. TAIT, EMMA J. GAGEN, SIOBHAN A. WILSON, ANDREW G. TOMKINS, GORDON SOUTHAM, 2017, “Microbial populations of stony meteorites: Substrate controls on first colonisers”, Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 8, doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01227

EMILY R. HEBBARD, SIOBHAN A. WILSON, SIMON M. JOWITT, ALASTAIR W. TAIT, HARRIET L. WILSON, CONOR C. TURVEY, 2016, “Efflorescences and arsenic processing residues at the Ottery As-Sn mine, Australia: controls on arsenic mobility and prospects for remediation“, Applied Geochemistry, vol. 79, 91-106

ALASTAIR W. TAIT, KENT R. FISHER, POORNA SRINIVASAN, JUSTIN I. SIMON, 2016 “Evidence for impact induced pressure gradients on the Allende CV3 parent body: consequences for fluid and volatile transport”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 454, 213-224.