Dr. Azua-Bustos core research is focused in understanding the evolution and ecology of xerophiles, and the molecular mechanisms that explain the interactions with their environment and its adaptation to extreme desiccation. For this end, he is studying the microorganisms of the Atacama Desert, the driest and oldest desert on Earth as model. The knowledge he has gained has proved to be of interest to define the limits for life on Earth, and also of interest for the fields of Biotechnology and astrobiology, as the Atacama is a well-recognized Mars analog model.


ORCID: 0000-0002-6590-4145


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Personal webpage: https://www.ted.com/speakers/armando_azua_bustos

Key wordsXerophiles, Atacama Desert, Mars
Other projects– 2018-2021, Principal Investigator of the Human Frontiers Science Program Grant (HFSP) UVEnergy. Co-PI with Dr. Kevin Freedman (UC-Riverside). – 2019-2024, Research Investigator of Dr. A.G. Fairén ERC Consolidator Grant, The physicochemical nature of water on early Mars. – 2019-2022: Co-Investigator of NASA Exobiology Program, Microbial Functional and Evolutionary Adaptations to Aridity.



Study of the origin and water cycle on Mars during the first billion years of the planet’s geological history, and its astrobiological implications.