AromAtom

“I am an Astrobiology PhD student at the University of Westminster, with a First Class Honours degree in Planetary Science with Astronomy. My current research focus is the detection and characterisation of spectroscopic biosignatures on Mars by working with analogue samples from a number of locations on Earth. 

I am an active science communicator, a member of the Astrobiology Society of Britain Committee and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

AromAtom is here to encourage and support that change, by presenting science in a fun, engaging and inclusive way for children and adults.

I truly believe that it is imperative to make science more exciting and accessible for all. In AromAtom, the combination of fragrance with planetary science and astronomy creates a platform to explore STEM subjects in a fun and innovative way, by introducing them through an array of weird and wonderful smells.” - Marina Barcenilla.

Fortunately, Marina rediscovered science in her early thirties and, at forty, she went back to university to study a BSc in Planetary Science and Astronomy at Birkbeck University of London, where she developed an unwavering interest in science communication and outreach. Marina is now a Doctoral Researcher studying a PhD in Astrobiology at the University of Westminster where she hopes to get more involved in science outreach work. With AromAtom, she hopes to make science fun and engaging for all, but especially for children and teenagers who might be struggling with difficult subjects just as she did, and to encourage them not to give up.

Creating the ‘smells of space’ was inevitable for Marina, since the two main things that occupy most of her time are studying space and the creation of fragrance. After more than twenty years working with fragrance and researching the sense of smell, she has witnessed first-hand the effect that olfactory memories have on people, from helping them to learn difficult concepts, to recalling events, places and information by simply smelling the right things. Research on the role of the olfactory sense in education has also found that aromatic stimulus may play a crucial role in cognitive learning.

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Marina is also the founder and perfumer behind MB Parfums