This post is written by Sara Humphrey, a student researcher, astrobotanist, and contributor to, speaking on International Women’s Day.

The first time I ever heard of astrobotany was when Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul earned NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement medal. Her amazing research was my introduction to astrobotany, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I can’t help but wonder what my life would look like without her.

There are so many women doing all kinds of wonderful astrobotany-related work, from researching basic plant biology to figuring out how to feed people in space (and on Earth) and facilitating the collaborations that make this work possible. I recognize the skills, intellect, and innovation that they bring to astrobotany, and I’m grateful that they’ve shown me how to reach beyond what I thought was possible for myself.

Some wonderful stories of women and their contributions to astrobotany: