PhD Student
Host, MIT Abstracts
phone (617) 902-0993
email fatima <at> mit.edu
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
E25, 45 Carleton Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
USA

 

Fatima standing next to the fume hood at which she spends most of her time.

Bio

2020-present– Ph.D. Student, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
2020-present — Host, MIT Abstracts, MIT Museum
2019-2020– MIT Curiosity Correspondent, MIT Museum
2018-present– Technician, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
2017-2018–
M.S., Graduate Program in Science Writing, MIT
2013-2017–
Sc.B. with Honors, Geology-Chemistry (Organic), Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Research

In my research, I want to decipher the histories preserved in naturally-occurring chemical compounds to improve our understanding of our Earth system — knowledge that may then be eventually applied to studies of other planetary systems. In order to learn how to effectively communicate scientific research, I earned M.S. in science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I aspire to a career pursuing cutting-edge geochemical and environmental research while continuing to address science skepticism.

In the lab, I’m most interested in the study of lipid biomarkers in organic geochemistry. In the past, I’ve focused on lacustrine long-chain alkenones and branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids, which I used to reconstruct the Holocene climate history of northern Alaska. In the Summons Lab, I’ve worked on reconstructing the climate history of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania using archeological sediments with Ainara Sistiaga, and now focus my attention on cyanobacteria pigments, their functions in microbes, and evolution. I also conduct science outreach activities around the country as well as write news articles for the Summons Lab and EAPS News.

Outside of my studies and research, I’m the managing producer at Possibly, a sustainability science radio show that airs weekly on Rhode Island’s NPR Station, and I’m host of MIT Abstracts, an international webinar series that connects K12 students around the word with MIT researchers and experts. From time to time, I’ve also appeared in and produced science videos for 60,000+ K-12 students around the world. Previously, I worked at NOVA | PBS, MIT News, and The College Hill Independent.

Select Publications

My work for MIT News, EAPS News, PBS NOVA, the MIT Slice of Life Blog, and NOVA Next.

SISTIAGA, Ainara, HUSAIN, Fatima, URIBELARREA, David, MARTÍN-PEREA, David, FERLAND, Troy, FREEMAN, Katherine H., DIEZ-MARTÍN, Fernando, BAQUEDANO, Enrique, MABULLA, Audax, DOMÍNGUEZ-RODRIGO, Manuel, SUMMONS, Roger E. Microbial biomarkers reveal a hydrothermally active landscape at Olduvai Gorge at the dawn of the Acheulean, 1.7 Ma. 

CUI, XINGQIAN, XIAO-LEI LIU, GAOZHONG SHEN, JIAN MA, FATIMA HUSAIN, DONALD ROCHER, JOHN E. ZUMBERGE, DONALD A. BRYANT, and ROGER E. SUMMONS. “Niche expansion for phototrophic sulfur bacteria at the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic transition.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020).

SISTIAGA, Ainara, HUSAIN, Fatima, URIBELARREA, David, MARTÍN-PEREA, David, FERLAND, Troy, FREEMAN, Katherine H., DIEZ-MARTÍN, Fernando, BAQUEDANO, Enrique, MABULLA, Audax, DOMÍNGUEZ-RODRIGO, Manuel, SUMMONS, Roger E. “Organic Geochemical Perspectives on Hydrothermalism at Olduvai Gorge, 1.7 Mya.” In 29th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, vol. 2019, no. 1, pp. 1-2. European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers, 2019.

PHILLIPS, Alexandra, WARD, Brittany, GRAYSON, Korie, LOPEZ, Grecia, DONG, Guannan, HUSAIN, Fatima, VERBA, Circe. Communicating Science to the World from your Phone: Stories from the Women Doing Science Instagram. Presentation Number ED12B-06 to be presented at the 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California, 9-13 December 2019.

HUSAIN, Fatima. “The deepest paradox: seafloor mining and its future.” Master’s diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018.

HUSAIN, Fatima, SERRATO MARKS, Gabriela. Learn Locally: Showcasing Local Scientific Research through Scientist-Science Writer Collaborations: Final Paper Number PA11J-0955 presented at the 2018 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., 10-14 December 2018.

HUSAIN, Fatima, LONGO, William M., DANIELS, William, RUSSELL, James M., GIBLIN, Anne E. and HUANG, Yongsong.  High-resolution 10,000-year temperature reconstructions from Lake Fog2, northern Alaska: Final Paper Number PP31E-1539 presented at the 2018 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., 10-14 December 2018.

HUSAIN, Fatima, LONGO, William M., DANIELS, William, RUSSELL, James M., GIBLIN, Anne E. and HUANG, Yongsong. A 10,000 Year Record of Arctic Temperature Variability During the Holocene Inferred from Lipid Biomarkers in Lacustrine Sediments from Northern Alaska: Abstract 69-19 presented at the Joint 52nd Northeastern Annual Section / 51st North Central Annual Section Meeting, GSA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 19-21 March 2017.