Darlene Lim

Principal Investigator

Darlene Lim

Expertise: Limnology
Affiliation: NASA Ames Research Center
PhD (Geobiology) University of Toronto, Canada
MSc (Geobiology), University of Toronto, Canada
BScH (Biology), Queen's University, Canada


Darlene is a geobiologist and limnologist (and yes, her last name is Lim) based at the NASA Ames Research Center. Her research interests span Earth and Space Science. She conducts limnological and paleolimnological investigations of remote lakes and ponds in the Canadian High Arctic to characterize Holocene climate change. She has also extrapolated her Arctic work to Mars analogue paleolake reconstructions. Since 1999, she has been participating in the NASA/SETI Haughton Mars Project, and was selected to inhabit the Mars Society's Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), the world's first Mars simulation base, at Haughton Crater in 2000 and 2001. She now sits on the Mars Society's Steering Committee.

Darlene led the establishment of the PLRP in 2004, and along with her co-PI, Bernard Laval, has enjoyed managing and evolving the project ever since. Her research interests at Pavilion Lake include its chemical and biological limnological characterization, and the isotopic biosignatures associated with the microbialites. She is also extremely interested in understanding the possible unique nature of Pavilion Lake through the exploration of near-by lakes and the regional geology.

Over the past decade, Darlene conducted fieldwork in the Canadian High Arctic, the Antarctic, throughout Central America, Guyana, and northern Chile. She continues to ardently promote the importance of science and exploration through lectures, media outreach and editorial contributions.

Major Science Goals at Pavilion Lake

1) Limnological characterization of Pavilion Lake region, which includes lake, stream and ground water sources.
2) Isotopic characterization (13C, 18O) of DIC and microbialite carbonate
3) Understanding the relevance and relationship of Pavilion Lake to other modern microbialite forming environments
4) Integrated Field Science and Exploration Activities - Lessons for the human scientific exploration of the
Moon and Mars