Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The UK Centre for Astrobiology: a virtual astrobiology centre. Accomplishments and lessons learned, 2011-2016

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Charles S. Cockell, Beth Biller, Casey Bryce, Claire Cousins, Susana Direito, Duncan Forgan, Mark Fox-Powell, Jesse Harrison, Hanna Landenmark, Sophie Nixon, Samuel J. Payler, Ken Rice, Toby Samuels, Petra Schwendner, Adam Stevens, Natasha Nicholson, Jennifer Wadsworth

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subsurface planetary analog program, and it has developed new flow-through systems to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments. UKCA has used this research backdrop to develop education programs in astrobiology, including a massive open online course in astrobiology that has attracted over 120,000 students, a teacher training program, and an initiative to take astrobiology into prisons. In this paper, we review these activities and others with a particular focus on providing lessons to others who may consider setting up an astrobiology center, institute, or science facility. We discuss experience in integrating astrobiology research into teaching and education activities.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalAstrobiology
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jan 2018
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Astrobiology, Centre, Education, Analog research, Subsurface

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Cryogenic silicification of microorganisms in hydrothermal fluids

    Fox-Powell, M. G., Channing, A., Applin, D., Cloutis, E., Preston, L. J. & Cousins, C. R. 15 Sep 2018 In : Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 498, p. 1-8 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Ionic strength is a barrier to the habitability of Mars

    Fox-Powell, M. G., Hallsworth, J., Cousins, C. R. & Cockell, C. 6 Jun 2016 In : Astrobiology. 16, 6, p. 427-442

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The ExoMars Spectral Tool (ExoSpec): an image analysis tool for ExoMars 2020 PanCam imagery

    Allender, E., Stabbins, R., Gunn, M., Cousins, C. R. & Coates, A. 9 Oct 2018 Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing XXIV: Proceedings of SPIE: Remote Sensing. Bruzzone, L. & Bovolo, F. (eds.). Vol. 10789, 107890I

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  4. Biogeochemical probing of microbial communities in a basalt-hosted hot spring at Kverkfjöll volcano, Iceland

    Cousins, C. R., Fogel, M., Bowden, R., Crawford, I., Boyce, A., Cockell, C. & Gunn, M. Sep 2018 In : Geobiology. 16, 5, p. 507-521

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin region in Southern Morocco as an analog site for soil geochemistry on Noachian Mars

    Oberlin, E. A., Claire, M. W. & Kounaves, S. 9 Feb 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 8

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Exoplanet biosignatures: a review of remotely detectable signs of life

    Schwieterman, E. W., Kiang, N. Y., Parenteau, M. N., Harman, C. E., DasSarma, S., Fisher, T. M., Arney, G. N., Hartnett, H. E., Reinhard, C. T., Olson, S. L., Meadows, V. S., Cockell, C. S., Walker, S. I., Grenfell, J. L., Hegde, S., Rugheimer, S., Hu, R. & Lyons, T. W. 4 May 2018 In : Astrobiology. First Online, 46 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  3. Long-term planetary habitability and the carbonate-silicate cycle

    Rushby, A. J., Johnson, M., Mills, B. J. W., Watson, A. J. & Claire, M. W. 1 May 2018 In : Astrobiology. 18, 5, p. 469-480 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The PanCam instrument for the ExoMars rover

    Coates, A. , Jaumann, R. , Griffiths, A. , Leff, C. , Schmitz, N. , Josset, J-L. , Paar, G. , Gunn, M. , Hauber, E. , Cousins, C. R. , Cross, R. , Grindrod, P. , Bridges, J. , Balme, M. , Gupta, S. , Crawford, I. , Irwin, P. , Stabbins, R. , Tirsch, D. , Vago, J. & 4 others Theodorou, T., Caballo-Perucha, M., Osinski, G. & The PanCam team 1 Jul 2017 In : Astrobiology. 17, 6/7

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 252214365