Leverhulme Trust Fellowship success

Congratulations to Dr Rosa Santomartino who has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship. This Fellowship is intended to assist those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic career to undertake a significant piece of publishable work.

Space microbiology

Dr Santomartino is based in the School’s Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems. Her research in space microbiology focuses on the molecular mechanisms that drive microbial interaction with natural and artificial environments in space, to perform space biomanufacturing, recycling and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and to promote an efficient and sustainable impact of space exploration and its terrestrial applications.

She performed two microbiology experiments onboard the International Space Station, BioRock and BioAsteroid, launched in space in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Her work provided the first demonstrations of biomining on a space station, and raised considerable scientific interest, growing her reputation as an expert in the field. She is an invited scientific advisor in microbiology for the Italian Space Agency, and collaborates with international scientists for the creation of the NASA Decadel Survay on microbiology.


The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship will provide her the opportunity to establish a new interdisciplinary research direction in Edinburgh and worldwide, and to create a strong collaboration with the School of Biological Sciences.