Accelerated Solvent Extractor Accelerated Solvent Extractor

The ASE extracts solid and semisolid samples with liquid solvents at elevated temperatures and pressures for increased efficiency.

Gas Chromatographs Gas Chromatographs

Gas chromatography is the main technique we use to separate out the individual components of very complex mixtures.

High Resolution Mass Spectrometer High Resolution Mass Spectrometer

The autospec combines the separating power of gas chromatography with the sensitivity of mass spectrometric detection.

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer

Stable isotope analysis for many different types of substances—organic matter, carbonates, gases and individual organic compounds.

Agilent 6000 Series HPLC-MS Agilent 6000 Series HPLC-MS

High Pressure Liquid Chromatography separates compounds, a Quadrupole Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer identifies lipids.

Lab Tour Lab Tour

Click here to venture on a virtual, photographic tour of the Summons lab, its facilities, and instruments.

Courses taught at MIT (with OpenCourseWare and Stellar links):


Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Previous Listings

  • Course 12.097/12.099: Exploring Astrobiology: Is There Anything Out There?
    (taught during IAP in January 2012)


Public outreach

Members of the Summons lab are actively involved in the development of geobiological Virtual Field Trips, a collaboration with our colleagues at ASU and the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. You can visit completed virtual explorations of Shark Bay and several exciting sites in the Flinders Ranges in Australia. For a peek behind the scenes of VFTs currently in development, head to this blog post about our 2013 expedition to Western Australia.

For a more detailed description of our informal science education and public outreach efforts, please visit the Foundations of Complex Life site, or follow us on twitter.

To follow our lab members, follow #summonslab on Twitter and Instagram.