The New York Center for Astrobiology

Director’s Astronomy and Astrobiology News Link


About the Center
Based within the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., the New York Center for Astrobiology is devoted to investigating the origins of life on Earth and the conditions that lead to formation of habitable planets in our own and other solar systems.

The Center is a partnership between Rensselaer and Syracuse University, and an emeritus member of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute (NAI).  Current and previous researchers affiliated with the Center include colleagues at the University of Albany, Albion College, the University of Arizona, the University of North Dakoka and the University of Rochester.

Researchers and students within the Center seek to understand the chemical, physical, and geological conditions of early Earth that set the stage for life on our planet. They also look beyond our home planet to investigate whether the processes that prepared the Earth for life could be replicated elsewhere — on Mars and other bodies in our solar system, for example, and on planets orbiting other stars.  A major research activity in the Center will be to search for Martian “biosignatures”, i.e., new ways of detecting evidence of current or past life on Mars.  The Center hosts a weekly Origins of Life Seminar Series in the Fall and Spring Semesters, which is open to the public. Click on seminar link above for schedule. Presenters include guest speakers, faculty, postdoctoral researchers and students associated with the Center.