EAI ACADEMY

DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2021-2022, THE EUROPEAN ASTROBIOLOGY INSTITUTE (EAI) WILL OFFER THE EAI-ACADEMY, WHICH CONSISTS OF A SERIES OF 16 DIDACTIC TALKS ON THE TOPICS: “TRIPS TO THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM”; “HABITABILITY OF EXOPLANETS”; “LIFE IN THE DARK” AND” COEVOLUTION OF PLANETARY GEOSPHERES, ATMOSPHERES AND BIOSPHERES”.

The seminars will be offered for free and will be streamed online via zoom every two weeks on Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CET (Madrid time). Each session will include a 30-40 minute didactic talk given by an expert. The talk will be followed by about 20 minutes of questions and answers.

The sessions will be hosted by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB). If you wish to be included in the EAI-Academy email distribution list to receive the zoom link and meeting access code, please write your full name, institutional affiliation and contact email here, before the 31st October 2021.

 

The CAB will deliver a certificate of participation to those who attend at least 10 seminars. The audience registration will take place, during each session, in the zoom session chat where each member of the audience will include their full name, institution and email for our registration. The individual final certificate will include each of the seminars the applicant has attended. The seminars will be recorded and made available permanently on the CAB YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/c/CentrodeAstrobiologia

Additionally, the University of Tartu will award 3 ECTS and a digitally stamped certificate to those that attend a minimum of 10 lectures and complete either a short review of the topic of his/her own choosing from the list of the EAI Academy lecture series or create a Wikipedia entry about a subject of their choice covered by the seminar, and peer-review one home assignment by a fellow participant. Those in the audience who request credits must register for the continuing learning program at the University of Tartu: https://www.is.ut.ee/pls/ois/!tere.tulemast?leht=OK.AR.ID&id_ay_toimumine=66611&systeemi_seaded=10,2,12,1&sessioon=0 and also send an email to riho.motlep@ut.ee, providing their contact information (Name, Country of Residence, affiliation) before the 31st October 2021.

NOTE: THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ADMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TARTU COURSE IS LIMITED TO THE FIRST 40 PEOPLE AND THE LIMIT HAS NOW BEEN REACHED.

 

At the EAI Academy we have about 150-190 participants per seminar that come from more than 30 countries all over the world. This makes the every EAI Academy seminar a virtual classroom for astrobiology learning and networking with the astrobiology community.

Join us at the EAI Academy seminars!

LIST OF SPEAKERS AND TOPICS

Tilman Spohn

ISSI/DLR (Switzerland/Germany)

November 24th, 2021

Giovanni Vladilo

INAF- Trieste Astronomical Observatory (Italy)

December 8th, 2021

Defining exoplanetary habitability: climate models and hydrogen-bond criteria

The search for atmospheric biosignatures in exoplanets is one of the most challenging tasks of observational astronomy. This endeavour needs to be supported by models able to estimate the habitability of the planet and the detectability of spectroscopic signatures from a sparse set of observational data. In this context, I will present an approach aimed at quantifying the planetary habitability according to the surface distribution of physical quantities that affect life processes, such as the temperature or ionizing radiation. The seasonal and latitudinal distribution of surface temperature can be calculated with the aid of climate models tailored to cover a broad palette of stellar, orbital and planetary properties. With this approach, the remote search for life in exoplanets can be narrowed by selecting targets characterized by surface conditions that maximize the production and detectability of atmospheric biosignatures. In the final part of my talk, I will scrutinize the universality of the liquid-water criterion of habitability, which is based on the properties of terrestrial biochemistry. Assuming that life processes require an active network of inter/intra-molecular interactions, I argue that it is possible to rank the viability of hypothetical, alternative biochemistries according to the hydrogen-bond capabilities of their molecular constituents. This approach suggests that the liquid-water criterion is probably the most appropriate in the search for any form of life that has emerged from spontaneous chemical pathways.

Link to video

Victor Rivilla

CAB (Spain)

January 26th, 2022

The Pathway to Prebiotic Chemistry: molecular precursors from space

We still do not understand how simple molecules combine together to form large molecules essential for living organisms. Recent prebiotic experiments, based on the RNA-world hypothesis for the origin of Life, have suggested that the three basic macromolecular systems (nucleic acids, proteins and lipids) could have formed from relatively simple precursors. The detection of some of these molecules in space, thanks to the unprecedented capabilities of current astronomical ground-based and space facilities, has opened a new window for astrobiology from the astrochemical point of view. A deep understanding of the chemical reservoir of the different phases of star formation is crucial to understand how Life could have appeared starting from simple molecular precursors. In this seminar I will present an overview of the most recent results of our search in space of key molecular precursors of the RNA-world. Using data from ultradeep spectra surveys carried out with radio and (sub)millimeter telescopes and space missions, we have revealed the presence of more than 10 new molecules in the interstellar medium and in the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which are direct precursors of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and phosphorus-bearing molecules. This amazing chemical complexity, which might be only the tip of the iceberg, means that interstellar chemistry offers an extremely rich feedstock for triggering prebiotic chemistry..

Link to video

Charity Philips-Lander

South West Research Institute (USA)

February 9th, 2022

Searching for evidence of life on subterranean Mars: Prospects and Challenges

NEXT

Olga Prieto-Ballesteros

CAB (Spain)

February 23rd, 2022

Deciphering Ocean Worlds in the lab

Diana Northup

University of New Mexico (USA)

March 9th, 2022

Microbial life in lava caves: astrobiological implications

Amri Wandel

University of Jerusalem (Israel)

March 23rd, 2022

Liquid water on Exoplanets and the Habitable Zone

Jan Amend

University of Southern California (USA)

April 6th, 2022

The Marine Deep-Subsurface Biosphere

Anna Neubeck

Uppsala University (Sweden)

April 20th, 2022

Hydrothermal systems - life in the dark

Olivier Mousis

CNRS (France)

May 4th, 2022

(outer solar system formation and evolution)

Doris Breuer

DLR (Germany)

May 18th, 2022

What Mars can teach us about the habitability of terrestrial planets

Victor Parro

CAB (Spain)

June 1st, 2022

Life inside the rocks: microbial diversity and metabolisms in the deep subsurface