Maize on Mars – A Student is Making “The Martian” a Reality

March 8, 2017

Raegan Hoefler
Raegan Hoefler, a junior in genetics at Iowa State University, is testing the effects of radiation on corn seedlings in a lab at ISU.

AMES, Iowa – Surrounded by a red rocky surface as far as the eye can see, you look up and gaze at the planet Earth in the distance. Your stomach growls and you realize it is time for dinner. Heading back to your colony, you harvest some corn from your garden and prepare it to eat.

Raegan Hoefler, a junior in genetics, is conducting a study to see if this garden scenario on Mars is a possibility. Hoefler received $7,000 from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.

Of the total, $2,000 was for a research grant to conduct an experiment inspired by the movie “The Martian.” Hoefler conducted the experiments with the aid of her adviser Thomas Peterson, professor of genetics, development and cell biology and Pioneer Chair in Maize Molecular Genetics.

CALS News Release 


News Type: