Zara Mirmalek headshot photo

Zara Mirmalek

Science/Data Team, Ethnographer/SUBSEA research
Senior Fellow
Harvard University

Zara Mirmalek is a Senior Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and Research Scientist with the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute. Her research focuses on human-technology relationships and remote presence in extreme environments, with attention to cultural contexts. Zara is currently conducting ethnographic research on communication, and work practices among scientists and engineers conducting science and exploration in the ocean (with remotely operated and autonomous robots) and in planetary analogs (for future human and robotic planetary exploration). Her current projects build on previous ethnographic research that she conducted on work practices and culture including United Airlines, Lufthansa, and NASA Mars Exploration Rovers mission.

Zara's Degrees:

Ph.D. Communication and Science Studies -- University of California, San Diego
MPA Public Administration and Public Policy -- California State University East Bay
BA History -- California State University East Bay


"It is amazing to see and study the deep sea in real-time while being physically on land. I am fascinated by the assemblies of people, tools, and processes that make it possible for humans and robots to access remote environments."


Zara participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: