Astrobiology Research

Follow the Elements

Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/U. Arizona
Exploring Ancient Sediments

About our Research Program

Our research centers on the theme “Follow the Elements”. A five year award from the NASA Astrobiology Institute supports research organized into three related areas:

The Stoichiometry of Life: Unraveling the fundamental relationships between the elemental compositions of microbes and their environments in the lab and field, and in the genomic and geologic records. For more, click here.

The Habitability of Water-Rich Environments: Assessing the availability of bioessential elements in ancient aqueous environments on Mars, subsurface oceans on Europa and other icy bodies, and in the oceans of extrasolar waterworlds. For more, click here.

Astrophysical Controls on the Elements of Life: Investigating how the formation of bioessential elements in stars and their distribution by supernova explosions affects the distribution and formation of habitable worlds. For more, click here.