An Ecology on Mars? Lines of Evidence and Suggested Investigations
Though generally colder than Earth, Mars has been a warmer and wetter planet early in Solar System history. As Mars became more and more inhospitable with time, any kind of life would have to adapt to the increasingly challenging environmental conditions.
Greater insights regarding the habitability of Mars and the possible presence of life on our neighboring planet could be gained by missions geared toward life detection, some of which I outline in the talk. If life is or was present on Mars, it had to interact with its environment and at least have formed a primitive ecosystem including the cycling of nutrients. One goal is to unravel these possible interactions, which is also part of our five-year research project to explore the physiological and environmental limits of life in the context of Martian environments.
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments..