Dr Adriana Marais: The physicist
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Dr Adriana Marais @adriana__marais @adrianamarais, a theoretical physicist, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa @sapafrica and aspiring extraterrestrial, is currently one of the 100 Mars One Project @marsoneprojectastronaut candidates in the running to move to the red planet in 2026, and hopes one day to continue her research on Mars.
She studied theoretical physics and philosophy at the University of Cape Town, and completed her MSc summa cum laude in quantum cryptography at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She was awarded her PhD in quantum biology at the same institute, and was a member of the Quantum Research Group established by Prof. Francesco Petruccione at UKZN doing research in quantum biology, studying quantum effects in photosynthesis, as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself.
Adriana believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth given that developments in science and technology are taking place at an unprecedented rate, and the expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach. She has dreamt of living on another planet since childhood and when she read in the newspaper about the call for volunteers to go to Mars on a one-way mission, she knew that “this was it”. This was a ticket to help her make her dream a reality and to become “the most improbable human” she can be.
We are inspired by Adriana’s story because of her courage and unselfishness in being prepared to give up life on earth for an adventure and achievement for all of humanity, to contribute to the sum of human knowledge as well as the establishment and proof of life on Mars.
In her spare time Adriana is actively involved in the promotion of science and space exploration as Special Project Coordinator for the Foundation for Space Development SA , an exciting initiative which includes the Africa2Moon project.
Featured artist: Robyn Richards @Robyn_alexandra93