Leena Mavis Cycil


Brief Bio

I am a microbiologist using a multidisciplinary research approach to apply biology to space exploration. My research focuses on exploring diversity and functions of a microbial communities in an environment to understand their adaptations to environmental variations. I am particularly focused in understanding the in-situ dynamics of microbial communities and their interactions with extreme (hypersaline, glaciers and dry) environments to understand the biogeochemical cycling at local and global scales that can also be scaled up to allow understanding about life on ancient Earth, and extra-terrestrial environments (e.g., Mars, Europa, exoplanets). I seek to gain understanding on how adaptions of biologicals systems to space conditions can be translated to earth benefits with a multidisciplinary approach that allows integration of data from traditional culture dependent microbial techniques, next-generations omics techniques in combination with geochemical data and modeling.

Education and Appointments

Postdoc.  The University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA. 2019
Ph.D.  Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, PK. 2018

Summary of Qualifications

  • Assistant research scientist at Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Maryland Centre of Environmental Sciences. USA (2018-2019)
  • PhD (Microbiology) with experience in Microbial ecology, Molecular biology, Applied Microbiology, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (2018)
  • Research fellow at Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA (2016)

Publications and Presentations

  • Cycil, L. M., Hausrath, E. M., Raymond, J., Ming, D. W., Adcock, C. T., Remias, D., & Ruemelle, W.P. (2021). Investigating the growth of algae under low atmospheric pressures for potential food and oxygen production on Mars. Frontiers in Microbiology. DOI. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.733244
  • Cycil, L. M., Hausrath, E. M., Ming, D. W., Adcock, C., Raymond, J., Remias, D., & Marcos P. (2020, March). Algae cultivation for Long-term Food and Oxygen Production. In Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (No. 2326, p. 1517).
  • Cycil L. M., DasSarma , Pecher W., McDonald R., AbdulSalam M., Hasan F. (2020) Metagenomic Insights Into the Diversity of Halophilic Microorganisms Indigenous to the Karak Salt Mine, Pakistan. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 1567. DOI: doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.0156
  • Cycil et al. (2018) Physiological, biochemical and phylogenetic characterization of extremely halophilic bacteria isolated from Khewra mine, Pakistan. Applied Ecology and Environmental research. 16(2): 1243-1256. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15666/aeer/1602_12431256
  • Cycil L. M., Robb F. T., DasSarma , Pecher W., Ali P, Hasan F. (2018), Metagenomic Diversity of Indigenous Microflora inhabiting the Cold Saline Borith Lake, situated at the base of Karakoram, Pakistan. International Congress of Extremophiles 2018, Ischia, Italy. (oral presentation)
  • Cycil L. , DasSarma S., Pecher W., Ali P, Hasan F. (2019), Microbial Diversity of a Glacial, High Altitude Saline Lake in Pakistan. American Society for Microbiology”; San Fransico, USA. (Presenting author)
  • Cycil L. M., DasSarma , Shah M., Pecher W., Hasan F. (2018) Metagenomics Insights Into the Halophilic Diversity of Hypersaline Lake in the Desert of Tharparkar, PakistanAmerican Society for Microbiology”; Atlanta, Georgia USA. (Presenting author)
  • Cycil L. M., DasSarma , Shah M., Pecher W., Hasan F. (2017) Metagenomics and Culture- dependent Study of Halophilic diversity in Karak Salt mine, Pakistan “ ASM Microbe 2017 by American Society for Microbiology”; New Orleans, USA. (Presenting author)