University of California, Riverside

Environmental Sciences

Sasha Tsapin

Sasha Tsapin


Research Scientist

Academic Degrees:

  • Ph.D., Biophysics, Institute of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Science, 1974
  • M.S., Physics, Physics Dept., Moscow State University, 1970
  • B.S., Physics, Physics Dept., Moscow State University, 1968

Research Area:

  • Dr. Tsapin's research interest is in the broad area of astrobiology. He is also interested in fundamental investigations of chemical properties of planetary surfaces. Other research areas include spin-glass materials of biological origin. Currently his main research direction is tribochemical transformations of iron oxides in the presence of strong oxidants, such as perchlorates.
  • Dr. Tsapin has over 15 years experience with building instruments and developing new strategy for analysis of organic materials in soil, rocks, permafrost and water. Dr. Tsapin has developed a new instrument based on measurements of fluorescence induced with deep UV lasers for analysis water columns in subglacial lakes in Antarctica. Dr. A. Tsapin has been for over 14 years a member of Astrobiology group in JPL where he spearheaded the development of new techniques for life detection. He published a set of papers in peer-reviewed journals on the nature of Martian oxidant. He developed a portable Computer Tomograph for planetary exploration.


  • B. Schoepp-Cothenet, W. Nitschke, L. M. Barge, A. Ponce, M. J. Russell, A. I. Tsapin, Comment on “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus”, Science, v.332, issue 6034, page 1149, June 3, 2011.
  • Zorigto Namsaraev, Vladimir Akimov, Ekaterina Barinova, Alexandre Tsapin, Kenneth Nealson, Vladimir Gorlenko, Marinospirillum celere sp. nov., A Novel Alkaliphilic Helical Bacterium Isolated from Mono Lake, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, vol. 59, p. 2329-2332, 2009.
  • Tsapin, A. and McDonald, GD., Terrestrial permafrost as a model environment for bioastronomy, Bioastronomy 2002: Life Among the Stars, Issue: 213, Pg. 359-362, 2004.
  • A.I. Tsapin, M.G. Goldfeld, G.D. McDonald, K.H. Nealson, B. Moscowitz, P. Solheid, K.H. Kemner, S.D. Kelly, and K.A. Orlandini, Iron (VI): Hypothetical candidate for the Martian Oxidant, Icarus, vol. 146, 68-78, 2000.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Environmental Sciences
Geology 2258

Tel: (951) 827-5116
Fax: (951) 827-3993