Public profile

Ken Williford
Scientist - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ken Williford is a scientist at the Caltech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, USA. Ken has been associated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute for over a decade, and he has strong connections to the Australian land and scientific community through collaborations on the recovery and geochemical analysis of Australian rocks with Martin Van Kranendonk, Malcolm Walter, Kliti Grice, and others. Ken runs the JPL Astrobiogeochemistry Laboratory (abcLab), whose mission is to understand the production, preservation, and detection of morphologic, mineralogic, molecular, and isotopic signatures of life and environment in planetary materials. The abcLab is part of the Center for Analysis of Returned Samples (CARS), a collaborative effort in "sample return science" to support the collection of astrobiologically relevant samples from other planetary bodies and return them to Earth for analysis. As a member of the Mars Science Laboratory science team, Ken is especially interested in Mars analogue environments, including those preserved in the Early Archean rocks of the Pilbara in Western Australia.