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Welcome to AstrobiologyOU.

We are an enthusiastic and friendly group of over 50 staff and students who are working together to understand how, and where, life might be found and to address the scientific, governance and ethical challenges faced by astrobiology-related exploration missions. 

With an increasing number of life-detection and habitability missions, astrobiology is at the core of nations’ space strategies. Our group members are involved in key astrobiology-related missions and in developing planetary protection regulations. 

AstrobiologyOU has grown from four colleagues with an incredible vision to a multi-disciplinary research group, across four schools and three faculties, working in three of the Open University’s Strategic Research Areas.

We are committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. We offer exciting programmes in Outreach and Public Engagement with research. We also develop commercial and social enterprises as a means of maximising the impact of our academic and research activities.

About AstrobiologyOU
AstrobiologyOU Research
AstrobiologyOU People
AstrobiologyOU External Engagement

Latest News

Join our team as a PDRA

We have a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Planetary Geochemistry) position available for applications:

The Role

9th February 2023
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Latest Blog posts

Iceland… Land of fire and ice… and possibly microbes that may be like those in space…

I won’t lie, I was nervous, nervous to leave my 3-year-old for the longest I had yet (a whole week!), and nervous for my first real trip abroad since before I went on maternity leave in 2018 and the pandemic of course… !

19th May 2023

World Poetry Day 2023

This poem is dedicated to my recent findings of novel microbial species from a brine prepared from natural magnesium sulfate crystals, which is chemically similar to the sulfate-rich brines of early Mars.


You can listen to it here


A “NOVEL” Story of Life in Salt 


21st March 2023
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