Originally presented on ZOOM 11th September 2023 at 7pm
ABOUT THE LECTURE:
Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe: its fundamental nature, origins, evolution, distribution and ultimate fate. The search for life beyond Earth is central to this discipline. In this talk, I will discuss how extraterrestrial life may be discovered. If life exists on Mars, in the subglacial oceans of the outer solar system, or on exoplanets, it is likely to produce biosignatures: proxies that we can detect even if we can’t get the organisms themselves under a microscope. But what are biosignatures? How can we find them? And what are the pitfalls?
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
DR SEAN MCMAHON
Sean is a Reader in Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh, where he co-directs the UK Centre for Astrobiology. His research investigates early life on Earth, fossil microorganisms, and the search for life on Mars and other worlds. He has published about fifty academic papers including “A Field Guide to Finding Fossils on Mars” and “False biosignatures on Mars: anticipating ambiguity”, both of which can be read for free online.