Dr. Caleb Scharf has been announced as the senior scientist for astrobiology at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Prior to his appointment, Scharf was the director of astrobiology at Columbia University in New York. His research spans observational cosmology and high-energy astrophysics, exoplanetary science, and astrobiology.

For 22 years Scharf led Columbia’s multidisciplinary astrobiology center, consisting of 15 senior scientists and 50 personnel across the departments of physics, astronomy, Earth sciences, chemistry, and biology at Columbia, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. He also served as a global science coordinator for the Earth-Life Science Institute’s Origins Network at Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 2022 Scharf was the recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for excellence in public communication in planetary science from the American Astronomical Society.