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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 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
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AstrobiologyOU External Engagement

Latest News

From space science and submarines to Scotch Whisky

How can understanding the secrets of the universe help make submarines safer, ensure Scotch Whisky's provenance and 'sniff out' new fragrances? Dr Geraint Morgan explains all.

15th July 2021
A pile of strawberries

IAA Funded Project with Food Safe Ltd.

AstrobiologyOU scientists to evaluate efficacy of pesticides and bacteria removal from fresh fruit and vegetables  

The worldwide consumption of ready-to-eat fresh fruit and vegetables has increased with the global effort to improve health and nutrition. However, it has been estimated that on average a piece of fruit will have been handled by seven different people before the customer consumes it.

22nd January 2021
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Latest Blog posts

Astrobiology summer school: becoming a team online

In October 2020 I started my PhD with AstrobiologyOU at the Open University. Like many others starting PhDs during this time, I have been faced with the somewhat isolated world of working as a researcher from home.  As someone who loves any opportunity to meet people with similar interests to me, the weeklong AstrobiologyOU and STFC summer school sounded like the perfect chance to get to know people in my field. However, I wasn’t fully convinced by the concept of an online workshop.

8th March 2021

Diary of a Mars operations day

It’s the 8th of February, and I wake up at the usual time in the morning, snow has fallen over night, there are reports of disruptions from further north, but here in Milton Keynes it all just looks like a little bit of powdered sugar decorating the world out there – and covering the first tips of the snowdrops that were brave enough to come above ground a few days ago. But before I can get too romantic about it all, I better start thinking about my workday. 

10th February 2021
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