Skip to content

Toggle service links

Planet in a bottle: experimental approaches to astrobiology

This event took place on 4th November 2020 at 12:00pm (12:00 GMT)

About the talk:

We may be Earth-bound scientists, but what’s to stop us recreating other worlds here? In this session, we explore the joys, practicalities and complexities of conducting astrobiology research through lab-based experimentation. Here, we draw on our experiences in geochemistry and microbiology to highlight how different approaches can contribute and complement one another in addressing central questions of astrobiology. 


About the speakers:

Dr Nisha Ramkissoon

Nisha is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant and planetary scientist working on a project that aims to examine the boundary of habitability on Mars and the icy moons; Europa and Enceladus, and identify any bio-signatures that may occur as a result of microbial life. Nisha also investigates how hypervelocity impacts could alter the surface of planetary bodies, such as Mars. 

Dr Alex Price

Alex is an environmental microbiologist researching the habitability of martian environments, biogeochemical cycling of iron and associated metabolisms. He received his PhD from the Open University, focused on characterising nitrate-dependent iron oxidation as a potential early Mars metabolism. This involved lab-based simulations of early martian chemical environments, investigated growth and biomineralisation on olivine and targeted the biochemical mechanisms of this metabolism through genomics and knockout mutants. Current and recent projects involve Mars analogue fieldwork in the Makgadikgadi salt pans of Botswana, as well as further Mars simulation studies.

The webcast was open to 10000 users

(60 minutes)