Kai Phillips

Grow your knowledge and you grow yourself.Kai Phillips

What I do on Mars

Even though we have yet to find life on Mars, there’s plenty of biotechnological work that needs to be done on Provenance. In many ways, Mars is very different from what we’re used to on Earth. That’s why it’s important to test how organisms react in the new environment. In my lab, I run dozens of plant and animal experiments and discuss the results with a team of scientists.

Character Q&A

Back when I was 12, I went camping with my family in Florida. We wanted to explore a nearby river so we rented a boat with a giant fan on the back, called an Airboat. An hour after we left my mom noticed that we didn’t have any sunscreen. We weren’t near any grocery stores and the sun was getting hotter by the minute!

That’s when I remembered that the liquid inside an aloe vera plant can help dry skin. I scouted the shore until I found just the plant we were looking for. The lotion we made from the plant extract couldn’t have felt better. From then on, I knew that I wanted to study how humans can benefit from different organisms.

I love that my job gives me opportunities to solve a variety of problems. Because there are so many different applications for biotechnological research, I’m always tackling something new. Most people don’t realize it, but my field has produced innovations for health care, agriculture, the environment, and industrial applications.
Lately, my team has been searching for phosphorus deposits on Mars because that element is necessary for life. There’s more phosphorus on the surface of Mars than on Earth so finding it hasn’t been too difficult. We’re currently in the process of testing the collected rocks for DNA so the past week has been incredibly exciting!
Without a doubt, taking classes in Chemistry and Biology have helped me be successful in my job. The field of evolution studies is also useful because it helps you understand why organisms have the traits they have.
Never be afraid to search out advice from an expert. There are experts for nearly every organism and most are happy to share their knowledge with you. If you ever want to learn more about a particular living system, search online and you’ll find loads of fascinating information from experts all around the world.

My Role Model

 Brett VanDyke

Brett VanDyke



Title Biotechnologist
What I DoExamine organisms and learn how they can be used to make useful products
EducationBachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology from Washington University
SkillsBiomedical engineering
knowledgeable about drug safety

Learning about genetic research
Medical treatments
Chemical reactions

Aptitude / Personality Profile