Alumni Pathfinder Aditya Chopra Visiting Fellow & Project Manager Australian National University PhD (2015), BSc(Hons) (2008) 2020 Scholarship recipient About I love science and so when I found the field of Astrobiology – the study of the origin and evolution of life on Earth and beyond – I was hooked! My research has taken me to see the stars from the highest point on Earth (as measured from seafloor!) to volcanos at the bottom of the oceans. I have been lucky to have explored some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth and walk on new ground that was formed right in front of my eyes by flowing lava. I have had the privilege of working with rocket scientists at NASA and some of the smartest minds at Google. All these experiences become possible because I was fortunate to have great supervisors and mentors, both in and outside, ANU. Area of study Planetary Science & Astrobiology Epic fail Started my research journey at ANU as a Summer Scholar by Googling “What is Life”. Almost 12 years later, with a PhD in Astrobiology I am still searching for an answer. While it’s been a good lesson in humility, I’ve learned so much in the process that it makes me think it was a mistake worth making! Proudest moment Contributing data on a Wikipedia page on the composition of life made me feel like I had made a small difference to the world! Top tip When someone gives advice not to do something, sometimes it is still worth taking a (managed) risk to do it anyway.