UK Centre for Astrobiology

About Us

Information about the UK Centre for Astrobiology.

The mission of the UK Centre for Astrobiology is to advance knowledge of life in extreme environments to further our understanding of planetary habitability. It does this with a combination of theoretical, laboratory, field and mission approaches. We apply this knowledge to improving the quality of life on Earth and developing space exploration as two mutually enhancing objectives.

The UKCA was established in November 2011 and formally opened at the National Museum of Scotland in April 2013.

At the University, the Centre has developed a wide diversity of experimental apparatus including planetary simulation facilities. It also has access to microbiology and molecular biology laboratories and other capabilities. At Edinburgh, the Centre comprises researchers from disciplines across the University.

The UK Centre for Astrobiology is affiliated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute as an international partner.

We achieve our aims by carrying out the following four objectives:

Science Objectives:

Advance our understanding of how molecules and organisms respond and adapt to extreme environments.

Apply this knowledge to advancing our understanding of the habitability of Earth, other worlds and the search for extraterrestrial life.

Technology Objective:

Improve the translation of astrobiology technologies designed for the exploration of space to solving urgent environmental and social challenges on the Earth.

Education Objective:

Use astrobiology to advance education in science.

Board Members

The UKCA Board is responsible for the local running of the UKCA.