Bird - New Theorist/Scientist

Hey there! I’m Bird (AKA Sian Ford). I’m a PhD candidate at McMaster University. My thesis focuses on the origin of life on Earth, particularly the origin of membranes. I also do some work looking at how prebiotic systems and protocells can undergo selective pressure to evolve before the point at which we would consider them as living. I think a lot about the boundary between living and non-living.

I also do some work with so-called extraterrestrial analogue field sites. Here I look at what kind of organisms can live in these extreme environments and how they survive. Then I can apply this information to other planets in our solar system (and beyond!) to determine what kind of life is worth looking for on planets such as Mars and moons such as Titan. I’m hoping I can provide up-to-date information in terms of the scientific literature which is monstrously difficult to access due to paywalls if you don’t have an institute affiliation. If you want copies of papers let me know and I’m sure I can get them.

Outside of academia I like video games, tabletop rpgs (check out Mothership if you haven’t!), and bird watching/photography. You can check me (and my photography) out on my website or on twitter @sianeford.

Thanks for reading and I’m super excited to get started!


Oh wow, welcome to the team! I’m one of the Graphics guys on the team. I was a professional freelancer for 5 years and right now I’m working on programming the membranes to be properly 3D and more dynamic, and I wish I had the help of somebody like you before as many of the algorithms I use/research are basically adaptations of things leaked from papers originally on Science Direct or old university websites lol. I hope you like it here and stick around a while :grin:

If you’re ever lost or want an idea of something you can help with, Myself, Buckly, and Hhyyrylainen are pretty active.

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