Ligia Fonseca Coelho

51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr. Lígia Fonseca Coelho holds a PhD in Bioengineering with a specialization in Astrobiology, complemented by a solid foundation in microbiology. Her research primarily investigates biosignatures, focusing on biological pigments, extreme environments, and planetary field analogs. Lígia's academic interests encompass innovation and space biology, where she designs experiments aimed at enhancing astronaut comfort in extreme conditions. A notable highlight of her career includes leading a pioneering project in 2022, where she collaborated with aerospace engineers to launch the first menstrual cup into space.

Lígia's research has been recognized with prestigious awards. In 2022, she was the sole Portuguese recipient of the Fulbright Schuman Fellowship for scholars. She was also awarded the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship in 2024.

Currently, Lígia focuses on characterizing microbes to study their ecosystems and detectability on Earth, within our solar system, and on icy exoplanets.