UK Centre for Astrobiology

Planetary Palaeobiology Group

The Planetary Palaeobiology Group, led by Sean McMahon, conducts research at the interface of palaeobiology and astrobiology at the UK Centre for Astrobiology, University of Edinburgh. Through a combination of field, analytical, and experimental approaches, we aim to understand how traces of life can survive for billions of years on Earth, Mars, and beyond, and how these ancient traces can be recognised and interrogated to reveal the secrets of deep life, deep time, and deep space. Current and recent research in the group has been funded by the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Human Frontiers Science Program, and the Leverhulme Trust, among other sources.

Research Interests

An overview of our research


Meet the group


Published articles and chapters

Outreach, blog and press

Our work made accessible through news media and blog posts

Join the group

Intern, MSc(R), PhD, postdoc, and fellowship opportunities


How to get in touch