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

3D Imaging of Lab Hydrothermal Chimneys

A new paper on X-ray CT scanning of lab grown hydrothermal chimneys has been published in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry.

Laurie Barge and Erika Flores working in the Lab

Laurie Barge was featured as a guest on NASA’s Gravity Assist podcast discussing the origin of life and the search for life elsewhere.

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.

OHL group members at the 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference in Seattle, June 2019

OHL group members attended the 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference in Seattle, June 2019. Many group members gave talks, posters, participated in plenaries, and outreach events; and we held an OHL science social.