About us

The aim of the Centre for ExoLife Sciences (CELS) is to improve our understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological conditions on the terrestrial planets in our own solar system and on planets around other stars, so-called exoplanets.

Funding the Center

The activities of the centre are based on major contributions from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (under the NNF Interdisciplinary Synergy Program grant no. NNF19OC0057374; Effects of bacteria on atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and exoplanets -- adapting and identifying life in extraterrestrial environments) and the European Union (Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant no. 860470, CHAMELEON), from 2020 to 2025, and additional support from the Carlsberg Foundation (infra-structure grant CF18-0552), Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC in the UK), DFF (grant # 9040-00142B, Chiral Selectivity in Atmospheric Autoxidation), and the AP Sloan Foundation (grant # G-2019-12281).

A collaboration between three institutes

The NNF synergy project is a collaboration between three institutes at University of Copenhagen, the Niels Bohr Institute, the Department of Biology, and the Department of Chemistry, which are at present at four locations at North and City Campus, i.e. at Blegdamsvej 17, Øster Voldgade 5, and Universitetsparken 5 and 15. When the new Niels Bohr Building is finalized and ready for moving in, we will all be situated in the area of Universitetsparken at North Campus of University of Copenhagen.

The CHAMELEON project is a double degree PhD network between 6 European universities in Copenhagen (Denmark), St Andrews (Scotland), Groningen (Holland), Edinburgh (Scotland), Leuven (Belgium) and Antwerp (Belgium).

The centre is also administrating the Danish 1.54m (DK1.54m) telescope at ESO’s La Silla observatory in Chile based on support from The Niels Bohr Institute, The Carlsberg Foundation, the STFC in UK, and various universities. We are operating the MiNDSTEp project from the DK1.54m telescope in the search and characterization of exoplanets.