Lieutenant Marla Aster was a female Human archaeologist in the 24th century. She was married to Aster and had one son, Jeremy.

Aster gave birth to Jeremy in 2354 on Earth. She lived with her family, including Jeremy's cat Patches there. Aster's husband died of a Rushton infection in 2361.

In 2366, she held the rank of lieutenant and served aboard the USS Enterprise-D. She brought her son with her.

While on an away mission in 2366 to study the homeworld of the Koinonians, she was killed by an undetected explosive device leftover from the Koinonian Wars.

Lieutenant Worf, who commanded the away team, felt personally responsible for her death, despite Captain Jean-Luc Picard telling him it was an accident.

Unknown to the Enterprise crew, the planet was inhabited by non-corporeal Koinonians. They felt Jeremy's pain and created a replica of Marla Aster to raise him. The Enterprise crew intervened and made it clear that Jeremy would not get over the death of his mother. Jeremy asked the replica to leave. (TNG: "The Bonding")

Commander Riker used Marla's death as an example of how he felt the Klingon ritual suicide was a cowardly escape when Worf considered it following a paralysis in 2368. (TNG: "Ethics")

Marla Aster was portrayed by Susan Powell.
A scene cut from the episode revealed that Aster worked as a teacher on Earth, teaching exoarchaeology and decided to sign on the Enterprise-D to "see the galaxy with her own eyes". [1]
According to the Pocket TNG novel Diplomatic Implausibility, Aster was buried on Earth at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx section of New York City; coincidentally, so is K'Ehleyr, the mother of son's "brother".
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