Luis Zea

Luis Zea

Research Associate


Focus Area




  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering Sciences – Bioastronautics, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2015
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering – Thermofluids, University of Central Florida, 2008
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, 2005

Professional Experience

  • 2015-Present  Research Associate, BioServe Space Technologies, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • 2015  Visiting Scientist, Brazilian Space Agency, UFMG Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • 2014  Visiting Scientist, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center, Cologne, Germany
  • 2010-2015   Graduate Research Assistant, BioServe Space Technologies, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado
  • 2008-2010   Heat Transfer Engineer, Siemens Energy, Inc., Orlando, FL
  • 2006-2008   Graduate Research Assistant, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
  • 2004-2006   Mechanical Engineer, ExxonMobil, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Awards (selected)

Research Interests

Gravitational microbiology, space life sciences, biological regenerative life support systems, small satellites, CubeSats, international cooperation for space exploration, STEM outreach

Space-Based Research Experience

Engineering: Micro-4 (STS-135). Engineering and Safety: Micro-5 (SpaceX CRS-5); OsteoOmics (SpaceX CRS-9). STEM: Butterflies in Space (HTV-3). Safety: HeartCells (SpaceX CRS-9). Engineering, Safety, Project Management, and Science: AES-1 (Orbital CRS-1).



Journal Articles

Conference Papers

Conference Abstracts and Posters

Technical Presentations, Seminars & Workshops

  • Zea, L., Space Development Efforts in Guatemala, Americas Roundtable, 32nd Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, USA, April 11, 2016
  • Zea, L., Bacterial Experiment returned from the International Space Station – Research Opportunity, BioFrontiers Science Shorts, University of Colorado, January 21, 2015
  • Zea, L., Space Life Sciences and Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space, HudsonAlpha Seminar, HudsonAlpha, Huntsville, AL, Oct 30, 2014
  • Zea, L., Space-Based Life Sciences Research and its Benefits to the General Public, Icelandic Academy of Sciences, University of Reykjavik, Iceland, August 11, 2014
  • Zea, L., Bacteria in space: Statistical facts of the first 50 years of research and an experiment currently being conducted onboard ISS, German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) Institute of Aerospace Medicine Seminar, Cologne, Germany, July 22, 2014
  • Zea, L., Characterization of Gravity’s Influence on Mass Transport Phenomena and its Impact on E. Coli’s Behavior and Susceptibility to Antibiotics, BioFrontiers Seminar, University of Colorado, Boulder, February 13, 2013
  • Zea, L., Spaceflight Bacteria-related Phenomena and their Implications on Astronaut Health, Gravitational Biology Seminar, German Aerospace Center, Cologne, Germany, May 8, 2014
  • Zea, L., Some of BioServe’s Flown Payloads to Space – From Cells to Mice, Astrobiology Seminar, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, DLR, Cologne, Germany, May 28, 2014
  • Zea, L., Student European Low Gravity Research Association, German Aerospace Center, Cologne, Germany, July 4, 2014

Magazines and Newsletters

Other Academic Activities

  • Member, 2nd IAA Latin American CubeSat Workshop Scientific Committee
  • Member, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Biomedical Committee [2014-to date]
  • Reviewer, ISS Research & Development Conference, Chicago, IL, June 17-19, 2014
  • Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Reviewer, ISS Research & Development Conference, Boston, MA, July 6-9, 2015 (Session Chair: Biological Insights in Space)
  • Member, American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR)
  • Member, International Space Station Utilization Committee, American Astronautical Society
  • Member, European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA)