The Habitability of Extraterrestrial Environments

University of Edinburgh

PhD 3.5 years Edinburgh, UK

Uploaded 27 Feb 2019

Job Description

Current theories suggest that habitable environments may have existed on the surface and in the subsurface of Mars over short, long or more punctuated timescales throughout its history. Punctuated habitable conditions could have existed in hydrothermal impact systems, outflow channels, and recent data suggest the existence of seasonal flows of briny water on the surface that persist to the present day.

This project aims to investigate the habitability of such sporadic environments throughout Mars’ history, using a combination of microbiological and planetary simulation techniques. It will make full use of cutting edge facilities available at the University of Edinburgh, including the Planetary Environmental Liquid Simulator (PELS) and will build on extensive work already completed as part of an STFC consortium grant. Results from the project will have direct applications to the development of instruments for future Mars missions.

Supervisor: Professor Charles Cockell

Person Specification

The candidate should have a degree in biology, chemistry, physics, geology, planetary science, or related disciplines and should be prepared to work in a highly cross-disciplinary fashion.