ZOOM SEMINAR: The Search for Signatures of Life - Investigating the Geological Archives

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Lecturer: Anna Neubeck, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS and Associate Professor of Geochemistry (Mineralogy, Petrology and Tectonics), Uppsala University
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

Anna Neubeck, SCAS and Uppsala University, gives a talk on the search for signatures of life through the investigation of geological archives. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Identifying fossilized microorganisms in the geologic record involves detailed analyses of micrometer-scale features in samples, and the ability to differentiate between biological and abiotic origins of often cryptic signatures. Investigations involving the analysis of fossilized microorganisms may be of high scientific impact, such as those concerning the earliest traces of life on Earth, the extent of the deep subsurface biosphere, and potentially in fossilized life to be discovered within returned extraterrestrial samples. The deep subsurface biosphere represents environments without oxygen and with low supply of nutrients, that are considered to be analogous to environments on early Earth or other extra-terrestrial bodies. Because of the challenges and potential consequences of identifying actual micro-fossil samples on Earth and beyond, new methods are sought to push the boundaries of how ancient microbial remains are analyzed and interpreted. Biologically-essential transition metal isotopes have recently gained increased interest as potential biosignatures. Of particular interest, especially in the context of subsurface microbial life and within environments involving water-rock-microbial interactions, is Ni, which has been suggested as a biosignature.

For more information and the Zoom link, please see the enclosed PDF file or http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html.

Additional information