Welcome to the Origins and Habitability Laboratory!


group photo

We are astrobiologists who study the origin of life and how life can exist on other worlds. Our group consists of geologists, biologists, chemists, engineers, and others. We work on a variety of projects to understand how geological conditions impact life in planetary environments such as early Earth, Mars, icy moons of the outer planets, and exoplanets.

Contact us to learn more about student, postdoc, collaboration, and visitor opportunities!

Recent Lab News


Erika Flores

Erika Flores was profiled on the JPL Education website talking about her astrobiology internship experience.


Fuel Cell

Our paper "Geoelectrodes and Fuel Cells for Simulating Hydrothermal Vent Environments" is published in Astrobiology.


Scott Perl

Scott Perl spent two weeks doing field work in a salt mine in England 1.2km below the Earth's surface looking at ancient salt samples from the Zechstein Formation that preserve biosignatures.


Laurie Barge

Laurie Barge gave a talk at Family Astronomy Night at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York City, August 2018.


OHL group members

OHL group members attended the COSPAR meeting in Pasadena, July 2018. Scott Perl and Laurie Barge gave talks about astrobiology on Mars and ocean worlds.


Dr. Jason Pagano

We welcome our new visiting researcher, Dr. Jason Pagano from Saginaw Valley State University. Jason is a chemist who works on self-organizing chemical systems including chemical gardens. He will be doing his one year sabbatical with our group during 2018-2019.