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MORGAN IRONS

  • Brooke Owens Fellow, Class of 2017
  • Duke University, Environmental Science and Biology ‘17
  • Host Institution: Avascent
  • Mentor: Jenn Gustetic

For much of her life, Morgan was interested in becoming an orthopedic surgeon. However, while attending Duke University, she decided to pursue her passions for environmental science and space exploration. With the help of three Duke professors and her father, she developed an experiment to study plant, microorganism, and soil development in Martian Regolith Simulant, leading to the completion of a double honors thesis and the awarding of a patent. Morgan is now a graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and biology and a minor in chemistry.  She is also the Founder and Chief Science Officer of the space and agricultural business startup, Deep Space Ecology.

During her educational career, Morgan was involved in activities such as the Duke Tree Campus Council, the Trees Across Durham City Government Committee, Duke Sustainability Leadership Council, Duke Campus Keepers, TEDxDuke, and the Duke Hospital Volunteer Program. She interned at NASA Langley Research Center, in addition to working in biology, environmental, and engineering labs at Duke. Morgan is currently the Vice-Chair of The Mars Generation Student Space Ambassador Advisory Board.

As a Brooke Owens Fellow, Morgan worked at Avascent, performing market, technology, and provider landscape analyses in the small satellite industry, and presenting oral and written executive briefs to clients and Avascent’s CEO.

Currently, Morgan is building her business, determined to solve food sustainability problems in space and food security problems here on Earth through agroecological system research and development. She has accepted a PhD candidate position working under Dr. Johannes Lehmann in the field of Soil and Crop Sciences at Cornell University, where she will begin in the Fall of 2018.