News 2017

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 November 2017

The field of exoplanets is currently at the cusp of a watershed moment in finding life on other worlds, propelled by the discoveries of habitable zone terrestrial planets in both ground and space-based surveys, and the potential for future telescopes to characterize the atmospheres of some of these rocky planets. Preparing for such a singular moment needs a diverse community, including Earth scientists, heliophysicists, planetary scientists, and astrophysicists.


Six postdoctoral positions in Origins of Life research, Netherlands, are now open for application! 

The Origins Center is a recent, multidisciplinary and multi-institute initiative of a large number of top tier scientists in the Netherlands, who responded to questions submitted by the public on fundamentals of life in the universe in the context of the Dutch National Science Agenda. Recently we defined the outlines of five three-year pathfinder projects that together should lay the groundworks for a future, far larger research programme, which aims at game-changing understanding of the origin of life and of life-bearing planets, predicting evolution, building and steering life from molecule to biosphere, finding extraterrestrial life and developing the mathematical understanding needed for bridging large spatial, temporal and organisatorial scale differences.

For these five pathfinder projects we are now recruiting six postdoctoral research fellows with a strong background in either astronomy, biophysics, chemistry, microbiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, mathematics, computational science, molecular biosciences, or planetary and geosciences, and with the ability to perform innovative and multidisciplinary research. The recruited fellows will, jointly with research groups in the Netherlands, further define and execute the projects. They will thereby be centrally involved in advanced and multidisciplinary research of great scientific and public interest.


Geoscience for understanding habitability in the solar system and beyond 

The conference “Geoscience for understanding habitability in the solar system and beyond” will be held from 25 to 29 September 2017 at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Furnas, Azores, Portugal. The meeting will start on 25 September in the morning and finish on 29 September at lunchtime. The conference functions as an EGU Galileo meeting and is co-organized by the COST action “Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe”, the Nordic Network of Astrobiology, and the Belgian Planet Topers project. It is co-chaired by Prof. Veronique Dehant (Royal Observatory of Belgium) and by Prof. Wolf Geppert (Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre).


Seminar by Syksy Räsänen (Helsingfors University) CANCELLED

Friday 17th of November 2017
Time: TBA
Room: TBA, Stockholm

In the past century, we have gained a detailed understanding of the
history of the universe from 10^(-11) seconds after the beginning until
today, 14 billion years later. We also have strong evidence about what
happened in even earlier eras, perhaps down to 10^(-36) seconds. I trace
the history of the universe from the initial quantum fluctuations until

About Syksy Räsänen:


Seminar by Armen Mulkidjanian

Title: Anoxic Geothermal fields and the Origin of Life

Time: Friday the 10 of November, 15:15

Place: De Geer room, Stockholm University


Workshop: Life on Earth and in the Universe Current State and Future Visions


The Annual Meeting of the Swedish Astrobiology Network (SWAN), 16-18 October 2017, at Umeå University, in Umeå, Sweden.




Exobiologie Jeunes Chercheurs


Astrobiology conference in Paris, October 16th to 18th. The conference will take place in the CNES in Paris. 


Astrobiology conference especially made for young researchers, with some talks by "mentors" in different fields of astrobiology. Open to everybody, including non-scientists. The entrance fee for the whole conference is of 50 euros if you send your application before October the 1st, and 70 euros afterwards. Young researchers (Master students, Ph.D students, postdocs or researchers who got their Ph.D less than 5 years ago) are welcomed to present their own studies, in French of English. This presentation support can be a poster or a talk. The entrance fee's are free for the people presenting a talk, and they can also have a free room in a hotel/transport fees paid if they live in France oustide Paris if needed. Deadline for presentations applications : 15th September (originally 1st September but it has been prolongated)



The Deep History of the Universe, the Earth and the Biosphere

The deep history of the Universe, the Earth and the biosphere is the most exciting story that we can think of. It seeks to explain how this world has developed and evolved, through separate steps, small and large, and through causes and consequences. It is a fascinating story for anyone who wants to understand how the world functions, what are the natural laws and forces that keep it running, and what are the scales and dimensions of all its events. 


Conference for Early Career Astrobiologists "The Early History of Planetary systems and habitable planets"

Tartu, Estonia, 8 - 10 August 2017

The Astrobiology early career scientists conference will be hosted in Tartu, Estonia. The event will start on the morning of August 8th and finishes in August 10th in the evening.

The meeting targets all related aspects of the subject. A broad range of contributions on formation and early development of planetary systems and particularly the habitable planets is expected, with links to other fields covered by astrobiology.


EANA 2017 conference in Aarhus, Denmark

The conference will take place 14-17 August, 2017 in Aarhus, Denmark. Among the many interesting and relevant topics for astrobiology, EANA17 emphasizes “Exoplanets”, a new and exciting field in the search for extraterrestrial life.


Impacts and their Role in the Evolution of Life on Earth

The course "Impacts and their Role in the Evolution of Life" will take place from 25 July to 3 August 2017 at Kuressaare and the Kaali impact crater site on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia. It aims to give students a thorough introduction in the role of meteorite and comets impacts in the formation of Earth, its atmosphere and the evolution of life. The course consists of lectures, pratical exercises and student-led discussions. Participants will also have the possibility to display their own research results in two poster sessions.



XVIIIth International Conference on the Origin of Life

The International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL) has the great pleasure of inviting all of those interested in the scientific aspects of the origin of life and related issues to attend the XVIIIth International Conference on the Origin of Life. This conference provides an important opportunity to chemists, biologists, natural historians, planetary scientists, astronomers, and others to meet and tackle the issue of the transition from non-living systems to the living state.


Summer school: Formation of complex molecules in space and on planets - From interstellar clouds to life 

The course "Formation of complex molecules in space and on planets - From interstellar clouds to life" will take place from 17 to 22 July 2017 at the University of Tartu. It aims to give students an overview of the biochemical evolution in the universe from formation of the first molecules in interstellar clouds to the assembly of the first cells on Earth. The course consists of lectures and student-led discussions. Participants will also have the possibility to display their own research results in two poster sessions.



In June 2017 (between 25 – 29 June) the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ) will organize its regular biennial meeting, which in this case will be held in Sitges (a beautiful beach village very close to Barcelona). The meeting is fully international (English will be the official language) and is based on the execution of different parallel symposia with the length of one day. Here is the link to the web page of the meeting. 


The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology

The Scientific and Local Organizing Committees at the ISE2A have the pleasure to send the 3rd Circular with new information about the Symposium to be held in Utrecht between July 3-7, 2017.

The Circular can be downloaded from:



Seminar: The emergence of planetary intelligence: an astrobiological perspective on the Anthropocene

Dr. David Grinspoon (Planetary Science Institute)

Tuesday 13th of June 2017
from 11:00-12:00
Room: Linné Hall, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Lilla Frescativägen 4A, Stockholm

As a planetary astrobiologist, David Grinspoon studies the relationships between biological and planetary evolution. He sees the geological epoch of the Anthropocene as the advent of a radically new type of planetary change.

In this seminar, he will discuss the concept of planetary intelligence and propose that the current moment in Earth history may not be merely an epoch boundary, a common occurrence in Earth history, but a major transition in the nature of the planet, the advent of Earth’s 5th Eon, which he suggests could be called the “Sapiezoic”. He will address implications for the project of building a sustainable planetary civilization as well as the search for extraterrestrial .



Anna Neubeck is attending the HABIT-meeting i Luleå
ABC is involved in the ExoMars Mission and in May 30-31, 2017 the science team involved in the Swedish ExoMars instrument HABIT (HAbitability, Brines, Irradiation and Temperature) will meet for the first time in Luleå, Sweden to discuss future experiments and developments coupled to the instrument.
More information on HABIT can be found here:

Yearly Meeting of the Stockholm University Astrobiology Center, 9 -11 May 2017

The yearly meeting will be held in Tällberg at the Siljan Crater.



Seminar by Emma Hammarlund (Lund University)

Friday 28 April 2017
from 15:00
Room: Lilla Hörsalen, Swedish Museum of Natural History

The radiation of animals in the so-called Cambrian ‘explosion’ was a late event in Earth history and its drivers remains unresolved. Environmental drivers, such as an increase of atmospheric oxygen, and ecological drivers, like the innovation of predation, have been associated to the Cambrian explosion while developmental drivers remain largely unexplored. Here, I will present clues from tumor biology demonstrating the necessity for multicellularity – albeit in its unwanted form of tumors – to manage cell responses associated with low oxygen (hypoxic). Hypoxic cell responses can promote the immature phenotype of cells (stemness), which is essential for all tissue renewal – also in healthy animal tissue. The tumour analogy results in new questions regarding animal evolution: How can we renew tissue despite an oxic setting and how did we adapt into the oxic setting? I will take you through my ideas of the cellular tools that allowed bilaterian animals to enter into the oxic realm, and there diversify during the Cambrian. That tissue requires hypoxia for stemness has bearing, I claim, on what it takes for large life to evolve also on other planets.


25 april kl 18:00-19:15 på Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet i Stockholm
Finns det liv någon annanstans i rymden än på jorden?

Välkommen till specialkväll på Cosmonova där vi blickar ut i universum i jakten på utomjordiskt liv.

En kväll som väcker tankar och känslor med fokus på det snabbt växande ämnet astrobiologi. Kom och möt en astronom samt museets egen geolog, just hemkommen från ett forskarmöte på NASA.


Early Earth and ExoEarths: origin and evolution of life

Workshop: Warsaw, Poland 3-7 April, 2017

The meeting will cover a multitude of scientific subjects ranging from star and planet formation until the early evolution of life on Earth. It aims to bring together astronomers, physicists, chemists, geologists and biologists as well as academics and students from humanities to discuss the most important questions and newest findings in all related disciplines.


Seminar by Roman Zubarev (Karolinska Institutet)

Friday 17 February 2017
from 15:15 to 18:00
Room: TBD

Early life relict feature in peptide mass distribution

Zubarev, R.A., Artemenko, K.A., Zubarev, A.R. et al. cent.eur.j.biol. (2010) 5: 190. doi:10.2478/s11535-009-0069-2


3rd landing site workshop for the 2020 Mars Rover mission

February 8-10th the 3rd landing site workshop for the 2020 Mars Rover mission will be held in Pasadena California. Magnus Ivarsson, Anna Neubeck and Diana Carlsson from Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre will attend. Magnus Ivarsson and Anna Neubeck will also attend the In-person working meeting "Finding signs of past rock-hosted life" that will be held at Caltech prior to the 3rd landing site workshop.


Seminar by Kirsi Lehto (University of Turku)

Friday 27 January 2017
from 10:00 to 11:00
Room: Lilla Hörsalen, Swedish Museum of Natural History

The TimeTrek is a 13,8 km long walking trail, and a timeline of the whole history of the world, where correctly timed information points for the most important events are posted along the trail. This timeline was produced in 2011 by a group of scientists from different departments of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi. It locates in the outskirts of Turku, leading from the Tuorla observatory to the University.  This science popularization project aims to portray the history of world as one holistic continuum, where all the different sciences contribute their own parts to the same big story of the world.  The other aim of the walkable trail is to demonstrate to visitors, in a very concrete way, the physical dimension of the evolutionary, geological and cosmological time scales. Each meter on the trail corresponds to one million years of time. The duration of the Homo sapiens species is contained only in the last 20 cm of the trail, and the length of the human technical civilization, since beginning of the agriculture, is contained within the last 1 cm. 

In the past year we have been working to develop the TimeTrek concept into more digital, and more audio-visual format. New background histories for all events, as well as new illustrations and narrations have been added to the project page (www.timetrek.fi/timeline). During January 2017 a new gamified application is added, with AR and VR illustrations for many of the time points. The whole timetrek-story is also aimed to be produced as a large audiovisual show for the large planetarium screen. 

A still much larger application was recently planned and submitted as a eTimeTrek plan to the Horizon2020 call titled Open Schooling and collaboration on science education. The plan contained a large consortium from 10 European countries, including Sweden, and aimed to produce the eTimeTrek concept in digital gamified format as learning materials for schools, for museums and planetariums, and for the social media. This effort will be renewed in the upcoming call for “Science education outside classroom”:       http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/swafs-11-2017.html



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