Personal details

Dr David Flannery
Research Fellow
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Geology & Geochemistry
Adjunct Professor
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Dean's Office
Discipline *
Geology, Aerospace Engineering, Astronomical and Space Sciences
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)

Doctor of Philosophy in Geology (University of New South Wales)

Professional memberships
and associations

Geological Society of America, Geological Society of Australia, NASA Mars 2020 Science Team


Geology, Sedimentology, Geobiology, Astrobiology, Precambrian, Archean, Proterozoic, Stromatolites, Mars, PIXL

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


David joined the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences at QUT in 2019 to develop capabilities in the fields of deep-time geology and astrobiology.

David graduated from Macquarie University in 2009 with a major in paleobiology, before attending Peking University’s College of Urban and Environmental Science and MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences as a Visiting Research Scholar. He received a PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2014 for research into evidence for life and early terrestrial environments preserved in Archean (4-2.5 billion-year-old) rocks in Western Australia.

In 2014-2015, while a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), he studied molecular evidence for ancient microbial metabolisms preserved in Earth’s oldest known fossils, and worked on the development of lithochemistry instruments that were later selected to fly on NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Mission. He then joined JPL as a full time research scientist based in the Planetary Science Section.

David has broad interests in the fields of astrobiology, geology and sustainable development, and welcomes collaborations in these areas.

This information has been contributed by Dr David Flannery.


David has successfully proposed and worked on a number of instrument development programs funded by NASA. Several of these technologies have applications in the mining sector.

He is a member of the NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission Science Team and a Co-Investigator of the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry, which was selected to fly on the same mission.

This information has been contributed by Dr David Flannery.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.