top of page


on Human Biology and Medicine

​​Welcome to the Joint Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine.

The Joint Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine grew from a merger of the SCAR Expert Group in Human Biology and Medicine and the COMNAP Medical Network (Medinet). It’s objectives and operational guidelines are consistent with the aims and strategies of both COMNAP and SCAR. ​


JEGHBM consists of experts with healthcare experience in remote and austere environments. The group consists of medical doctors, psychologists, human physiologists and biologists who are actively engaged in medical care and medical /biomedical research in the Antarctic, Arctic, Space Medicine and other extreme and austere environments.

Antarctic researchers join ESA astronaut class

Carmen Possnig



ESA Astronaut Class of 2022 – Carmen Possnig

Carmen graduated from the Medical University of Graz, Austria, in 2014. She wrote her thesis on “Effects of Artificial Gravity Exposure on Orthostatic Tolerance Times in Men and Women” in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center DLR.  


From 2014 to 2017, Carmen was a general practitioner resident at Wiener Krankenanstaltenverbund (Associated Hospitals) in Vienna, Austria, where she earned her general practitioner certification and diploma. 

She spent 13 months as a research medical doctor (MD) in the Concordia station, Antarctica, between 2017 and 2018, where she was responsible for carrying out ESA’s biomedical and psychosocial research experiments and leader of the medical rescue team. 

She continued working as a research MD with the Space Clinic at MEDES in Toulouse, France, in 2022. 

From 2020, Carmen was a PhD candidate specialising in space physiology at the Institute for Sports Science at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Her research focus was on microgravity-induced changes to the cardiovascular system and blood flow to the brain. 

During her professional career, Carmen earned several certificates in emergency medicine, including mountain rescue, expedition and wilderness medicine, and volunteered with psychological support services. 

In her leisure time, she enjoys mountaineering, free climbing, long-distance trekking, running and yoga. Her other interests include writing, Aikido, playing the piano and amateur photography. 

ESA experience

In November 2022, Carmen was selected as a member of the ESA astronaut reserve.

Meganne Christian

Meganne Christian was born 1987. In addition to British and Italian citizenship, she also holds Australian and New Zealand citizenship. 

ESA Astronaut Class of 2022 – Meganne Christian

Meganne studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Engineering in industrial chemistry, receiving a final grade of Honours Class 1. During her studies, she undertook several internships at chemical industries, where she worked on optimizing and troubleshooting water treatment processes. 

From 2010 to 2014, she completed her Doctorate at the University of New South Wales and received her Ph.D. in industrial chemistry with several scholarships, such as the University of New South Wales Research Excellence Award. The topic of her thesis was “Core-shell borohydrides for reversible hydrogen storage,” where she investigated the design, synthesis and advanced characterization of nanomaterials for hydrogen storage applications.  

Both during her studies and after graduation, she received several national awards for outstanding research in the field of engineering and industrial chemistry.  

In addition to being fluent in English, Italian and French, Meganne also speaks Japanese. 


From 2018 to 2019, Meganne served as a winter-over scientist at the Concordia station in Antarctica for the national research council of Italy and the Italian National Antarctic Research Programme. As scientist in charge of atmospheric physics and meteorology at the French-Italian research base, she was responsible for various observatories, including radiation, meteorology, stratospheric lidars, chemical and physical atmospheric aerosols, and infrared radiation for Antarctic clouds. 

She returned to the Concordia Station for a temporary assignment as scientist in charge of the atmospheric physics and meteorology observatories from October 2020 to January 2021. 

For these expeditions Meganne was also trained in firefighting, medical aid, rescue, and survival in extreme conditions. She participated in biomedical research run by ESA and various public activities to report about her experiences and activities during the winter-over.  

Between 2014 and 2022, Meganne worked as a research fellow and subsequently staff researcher at the Institute of Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity and the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems in Bologna, Italy, as part of the EU scientific research initiative Graphene Flagship. During this time, she took part in two parabolic flight campaigns in 2017 and 2021 to test graphene coatings for thermal management in satellites. She successfully issued further articles and award-winning publications and served as ambassador for Graphene Flagship initiatives.  

From 2021, Meganne was a lecturer on Problem Solving and Decision Making for businesses, as well as a researcher for the National Research Council of Italy in Bologna, Italy. She is also a start-up founder and CEO of a UK company cultivating technologies for the benefit of humankind. 

Meganne's favourite sports include climbing, white-water rafting, and scuba diving. She holds a black belt in Hapkido and enjoys crafts such as sewing, knitting and crochet. Furthermore, Meganne is an avid singer and active in multiple choirs, where she has also acted as board member and assistant choreographer. 

ESA experience

In November 2022, Meganne was selected as a member of the ESA astronaut reserve.

Work Blur
bottom of page