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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

A pile of strawberries

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

PhD Vacancies now available

*** Applications OPEN *****

4th January 2021
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Latest Blog posts

Bea Baharier standing in front of a green screen, next to a telescope. photographed through a light ring, behind which you can see the camera.

Can we all be Leonardo da Vinci?

I started my undergraduate studies later than most, when I was 24, and I didn’t feel I could keep up. I was struggling with dyslexia, and as an artist’s daughter, I didn’t have the necessary science background, I couldn’t afford nice clothes, I could hardly use a computer, a smartphone or a camera as my parents couldn’t afford them when I was younger. I focused as hard as I could on the science, but I felt invisible. I kept on thinking that I would never catch up in this rigged race. I wasn’t born for this and most of all, I resented art.

14th January 2021
AJ, a small brown and white dog, is sat perched on the edge of a desk in front of a laptop, blocking the view. With the words "AJ always helps me study" written in the top left corner.

Summer studentship during COVID-19

During my second year as an undergrad at the University of Manchester, I began to develop a great interest in Astrobiology. It all started with a book, of course… Prof Matthew Cobb, who was teaching evolution made a big impression on me through his lectures, because they did not feel like university lectures at all; he conveyed the material with such passion and articulation, I felt like I was watching a live popular science documentary. And he was always recommending books with some students even wondering whether the books were actually compulsory further reading!

5th January 2021
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