Openings at the Centre for ExoLife Sciences

Centre for ExoLife Sciences is now opening an additional postdoc position entitled, “Synthetic spectra of exoplanet atmospheres with and without biological activity”. Application deadline is 1st of December 2023, with start 1st of January 2024 or soon thereafter. The centre already includes 5 PhD students and 1 postdoc employed under the Novo Nordisk Synergy project “Effects of bacteria on atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and exoplanets”.

The new postdoc will be employed under the same grant and working in close collaboration with the other fellows and staff at the centre, as well as with other interested students and fellows associated with the project.  The specific aim of the new postdoc position is to further our ability to compute and understand how life, seen as a low-entropy entity, affects the chemical non-equilibrium state of atmospheric structures (as it is seen for example in the CH4-O2-CO2 imbalance in Earth’s atmosphere), as part of the global aim of the centre to advance our understanding of how life interacts with the environment on large scale and under various terrestrial and extraterrestrial conditions and how this potentially can be seen in exoplanetary spectra.

As a team, we are working toward this common interdisciplinary goal by sampling microorganisms from extreme locations on Earth, and through lab experiments expose them to a range of physical and chemical conditions. We then measure changes in their survival, growth and metabolism, analyze the exhaust gasses they emit, and study how the various organisms affect the atmospheric composition and cloud formation. Finally, we incorporate these and other results into model atmospheres of exoplanets and quantify under which conditions they will leave traceable signatures in the observable exoplanet spectra.

The team is assembled from having a flair for teamworking as well as a broad and diverse interest in the fields of biology, chemistry and physics surrounding fundamental aspects of astrobiology. In order to form a strong team that benefits from the synergy between the various fields, we seek fellows with a wide range of backgrounds within the relevant areas of natural sciences and computing skills.

For more information, and to apply for the position, please go to: CELS Postdoc UCPH Advertisement