Book Tara Ruttley

Aquanaut & Associate Chief Scientist for Microgravity Research at NASA Headquarters

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Tara Ruttley Bio

Tara Ruttley, Ph.D., is currently the associate chief scientist for Microgravity Research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Her role consists of representing and communicating the biological and physical science research that’s happening on Low Earth Orbit platforms such as the International Space Station, and supporting NASA’s Chief Scientist in developing research recommendations for the agency as NASA plans to return humans to the moon.Combining her love for biology and human spaceflight, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University. Upon completion of her master’s degree, she began her career at NASA at the Johnson Space Center in 2001, where she was hired as a biomedical engineer for the medical equipment and human research hardware used on the ISS. While working as an engineer, she concurrently pursued her Ph.D. in neuroscience and then joined the ISS Program Science Office, where she spent over a decade playing an active role in managing, evaluating, and communicating ISS science activities before moving to NASA Headquarters in 2019.Ruttley has diverse academic interests, having recently completed a master’s degree in anthropology-archaeology from the University of Houston, where her research was on the role of religion in slavery and social control on U.S. plantations prior to the Civil War.Ruttley has authored publications ranging from hardware design to neurological science and holds a U.S. utility patent.Ruttley is a dynamic, down-to-earth, relatable speaker, and someone who is just fun to talk with. She has over a decade of experience in media appearances and has given light-hearted, informative, leadership-driven, and motivational keynotes to audiences ranging from undergraduates to career scientists and industry corporate professionals.Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Tara Ruttley and other top speakers and celebrities.

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