Astrobiology Science Conference 2019
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.
New paper: Abiotic amino acid synthesis in hydrothermal vents
February 2019: A new paper on abiotic amino acid synthesis in hydrothermal vents has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Field work at Mono Lake
July 2018: Scott Perl and Preston Tasoff conducted field work at Mono Lake, California to study microbiology in samples from this hypersaline environment.
New NASA award to fund research on Phosphorus chemistry on rocky/icy worlds
Oct 2018: A NASA Habitable Worlds proposal was selected for research on phosphorus chemistry on rocky and icy worlds, with collaboration with the University of South Florida (PI: Laurie Barge)
New co-authored paper: subsurface astrobiology in caves
July 2018: Scott Perl co-authored a study in the International Journal of Astrobiology about investigating subsurface life in the Boulby Mine, UK - an environment relevant to possible subsurface life on other worlds.
New JPL PDF award to fund research on Sulfur metabolism
October 2018: A new JPL President's and Director's fund proposal was funded to study how sulfur metabolisms generate biomarkers in hypersaline systems (PI: Scott Perl, Caltech PI: Alex Sessions; Co-I: Laurie Barge)
Community College Geoscience Outreach Module
Sept 2018: Various OHL members assisted with running the Bridge to the Geosciences geo-module on Catalina Island, for the third year of this NSF funded program to bring community college students into the geosciences (PI: Marianne Smith, Citrus College; Co-PI: Laurie Barge)
New co-authored paper: clay chemistry for the origin of life
Sept 2018: Laurie Barge co-authored a study in Origin of Life and Evolution of Biospheres about quinone chemistry driven by clays under prebiotic conditions with collaborators from University of Tulsa and Dakota State University.
JPL Intern profile
October 2018: Erika Flores was profiled on the JPL Education website talking about her astrobiology internship experience.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Kim Orr
Brazil Advanced Methane School
October 2018: Ninos Hermis attended the São Paulo School of Advanced Methane Science, in Ilhabela, Brazil. He joined participants from around the world to discuss the latest advances in methane science.
New Sabbatical Visitor
August 2018: We welcome our new visitor, Dr. Jason Pagano from Saginaw Valley State University. Jason is a professor of chemistry who works on self-organizing chemical systems including chemical gardens. He will be doing his one year sabbatical with our group during 2018-2019.
July 2018: OHL group members attended the COSPAR meeting in Pasadena. Scott Perl and Laurie Barge gave talks about astrobiology on Mars and ocean worlds.
New JPL R&TD award to fund electrochemical studies of simulated planetary soils
Oct 2018: A new JPL Research & Technology Development task was funded to study how organics produce electrochemical signatures in simulated planetary soils and ices, in collaboration with JPL's Electrochemical Technologies group (PI: Keith Chin; Co-I's Scott Perl and Laurie Barge)
New paper: Geo-electrodes and fuel cells for hydrothermal vents
Sept 2018: Our paper "Geoelectrodes and Fuel Cells for Simulating Hydrothermal Vent Environments" is published in Astrobiology. This paper describes our ongoing work using fuel cells to simulate the redox environments of deep-sea vents, in order to understand energy for life in similar systems on ocean worlds.
New NASA award for developing spectroscopy techniques for astrobiology of icy worlds
Nov 2018: A new NASA proposal (Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration) was selected to develop spectroscopy instruments for studying astrobiology and habitability of the icy surfaces of ocean worlds. (PI: Pablo Sobron (SETI); Co-I: Laurie Barge)