UK Centre for Astrobiology


People of the UK Centre for Astrobiology

UK Centre for Astrobiology Co-Directors

Charles Cockell (School of Physics and Astronomy)


Centre Founder and Co-Director

Homepage: [link]

Research Area: Life in extreme environments

email: c.s.cockell [at]

Sean McMahon (School of Physics and Astronomy/School of GeoSciences)


Centre Co-Director

Homepage: [link]

Research Area:  Planetary Palaeobiology Group

email: sean.mcmahon [at]

Rosa Santomartino (School of Physics and Astronomy/School of Biological Sciences)


Centre Co-Director

Homepage: [link]

Research Area: Space microbiology and biotechnology

email: rosa.santomartino [at]


Postdoctoral scientists

Corentin Loron (School of Physics and Astronomy) 

Royal Society Newton International Fellow Research Area: Planetary Palaeobiology

Mariangela Bonavita  (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Senior Researcher Research Area: Exoplanet research
Stewart Gault  (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Postdoctoral Research Associate
Postdoctoral Research Associate Research Area: Proteins in extreme/extraterrestrial conditions
Pamela Knoll (School of Physics and Astronomy) 

Postdoctoral Fellow Research Area: Planetary Palaeobiology

Postgraduate students

Ophelia Gunn  (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Research Area: Aqueous environments on Mars
Annemiek Waajen (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Research Area: Life under anaerobic conditions/use of organics by life
Cassie Hopton (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Research Area: Biochemistry in icy moon chemistries
Fiona Bunn (School of Biological Sciences)
Research area: bioleaching, biomining

Lab Management

Nim FeltonSenior Astrobiology Technician (School of Physics and Astronomy)


Associated Academic Staff

Beth Biller (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Research Area: Exoplanet detection
Geoff Bromiley (School of Geosciences)
Research Area: Planetary interiors/Materials under extreme conditions
Ian Butler (School of Geosciences)
Research Area: Mineral formation, aqueous geochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry and the kinetics and mechanisms of geochemical processes
Ewen Campbell (School of Chemistry) 
Research Area: Astrochemistry
Valentina Erastova (School of Chemistry)
Research Area: Origin of Life, Clay mineral chemistry
Javier Martin-Torres Chaired Professor, University of Aberdeen

Visiting Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Research Area: Atmospheric physics

Paul Palmer  (School of Geosciences)
Research Area: Climate, atmospheric modeling
Simon Parsons (School of Chemistry)
Research area: Effects of pressure on molecular compounds
Ken Rice (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Research Area: Planetary discs
Colin Snodgrass (School of Physics and Astronomy)
Research Area: Comets and asteroids
Kristina Tamane (School of Geosciences)
Space Business Development Executive
Ian Underwood (School of Engineering)
Integrated nano- and micro-systems
Matjaz Vidmar  (School of Social and Political Science)
Research Area: Technoscientific Culture and Space Exploration