For enquiries about the seminar series or to nominate to present a seminar, please contact

Dr Anna Kaksonen

E: anna.kaksonen@csiro.au
P: 08 9333 6253

Subscribe to the series

If you would like to receive invitations to future seminars in this series, please subscribe by clicking the link below:

Yes, please subscribe me

To unsubscribe from this series, please click the 'Unsubscribe' link at the bottom of any CSIRO Floreat seminar series invitation.

Event date: 17Sep 2019

Tuesday 17 Sep 2019

Dr David Holmes, Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Genome Biology at the Fundación Ciencia & Vida; Professor at the Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile

  • Earth Environments as Analogs for Extraterrestrial Life - 3.00pm - 4.00pm

Auditorium, 147 Underwood Avenue, Floreat, WA

More information

Dr David Holmes, Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Genome Biology at the Fundación Ciencia & Vida; Professor at the Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile
Earth Environments as Analogs for Extraterrestrial Life

Tuesday 17 September 2019
3.00pm - 4.00pm
Auditorium, 147 Underwood Avenue, Floreat WA

Abstract:

The discovery of planets in our galaxy that lie within the habitable zones of their respective stars and the recent observations that perhaps Mars, Venus and the icy moons Enceladus, Europa and Titan could now, or in the past, harbor life are driving inspiration and innovation in the search for extraterrestrial life. The immensity of this challenge requires a focused search that involves setting constraints on where life, as we know it, may or may not be possible. Analog sites on Earth are those that share past or present characteristics with other planetary bodies, providing natural systems for studying the limits of life. This talk will explore examples of analog sites including the cold, hyperarid core of the Atacama desert, the Chilean Altiplano and Australian Salares, Antarctic subglacial lakes, mineral assemblages and the deep subsurface. These sites provide information on how physical and chemical conditions interact to form environments conducive to life. They also suggest what kind of molecular fossils might be preserved as indicators of past life on exoplanets and moons. Analog sites also provide information that contributes to origin of life and synthetic-biology research. In the latter, genomics is being used to tease out essential genes and metabolisms needed to tailor-make microbes for applications in extra-terrestrial environments.

Bio:

David Holmes is director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Genome Biology at the Fundación Ciencia & Vida, Santiago, Chile and is Full Professor at the Universidad Mayor. He received a BA First Class Honors (Genetics) from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (1969) and his PhD in Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology, USA (1973). He was a Damon Runyon Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech from 1973-76. He then held several academic positions from Assistant Professor to Full Professor in the USA and also worked for 6 years (1980-86) at the Research and Development Labs of General Electric. Dr. Holmes has over 180 publications. In 2015 he was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology and received a Life Time Achievement Award. He is a founding member of the Iberoamerican Society for Bioinformatics (SOIBIO) and has worked in Chile for the past 26 years. He has been cited as one of the most influential scientists in the development of Latin American Bioinformatics and received an Award for Scientific and Academic Trajectory for Pioneering Development of Bioinformatics in Latin America, Sociadad Iberoamericana de Bioinform├ítica (Soi Bio), Spain.


How to get there: CSIRO Floreat site map

Science areas: General Science

Event type: Conference or seminar