Betul Kacar (Principal Investigator)

I am an evolutionary biologist and an astrobiologist interested in understanding the underlying forces of molecular evolution and how Earth’s history may have shaped the way life is today. I engineer microbes with synthetic genes and study their co-adaptation in the laboratory. I care deeply about science communication and outreach.
[Bio] [BetulKacar_CV] [Email].

Current Members

Undergraduates: Hanon McShae (Harvard OEB/EPS) and Ryan Ward (Harvard CHEM)

Graduate Student: Andres Ferrino-Iriarte (Erasmus-Mundus Evol Bio Fellow)

Lab Assistants: Hope Dang (University of Arizona) and Maddie Marino (Harvard)

Hooray! We are currently transitioning to the University of Arizona.

We will be accepting students starting Fall 2018 through Molecular and Cell Biology and Astronomy Programs. Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows interested in astrobiology, origins of life and experimental evolution, please contact Betul.

University of Arizona Molecular and Cellular Biology Student Coordinator:

Denise Slay (

University of Arizona Astrobiology Program:

University of Arizona Department of Astronomy: