2010 Annual Science Report
VPL at University of Washington Reporting | SEP 2009 – AUG 2010
The Astrobiology Graduate Student conference is a conference organized by astrobiology graduate students for astrobiology grad students. It provides a comfortable peer forum in which to communicate and discuss research progress and ideas.
The Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference is a meeting for graduate students that distinguishes itself from similar meetings by being organized principally by graduate students. An emphasis is placed on providing a comfortable peer environment in which to talk about research, and network with other astrobiology graduate students from around the world.
The NAI, through the VPL team, has provided support for the last two AbGradCons. Last year, the meeting was held at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, and two publications describing that meeting were presented at other conferences (Som et al., 2009a; Som et al., 2009b).
This year NAI/VPL also supported AbSciCon, which was held in Talinn, Sweden in July 2010. The funding provided allowed 33 US students to attend the conference. UW students Rika Anderson (Oceanography) and Eva Stüeken (Earth and Space Sciences) represented US students on the international organizing committee for this conference.
PROJECT INVESTIGATORS:Rika Anderson
PROJECT MEMBERS:Victoria Meadows
RELATED OBJECTIVES:Objective 1.1
Formation and evolution of habitable planets.
Indirect and direct astronomical observations of extrasolar habitable planets.
Outer Solar System exploration
Sources of prebiotic materials and catalysts
Origins and evolution of functional biomolecules
Origins of energy transduction
Origins of cellularity and protobiological systems
Earth's early biosphere.
Production of complex life.
Effects of extraterrestrial events upon the biosphere
Environment-dependent, molecular evolution in microorganisms
Co-evolution of microbial communities
Biochemical adaptation to extreme environments
Effects of environmental changes on microbial ecosystems
Adaptation and evolution of life beyond Earth
Biosignatures to be sought in Solar System materials
Biosignatures to be sought in nearby planetary systems