UK Centre for Astrobiology

Peer-reviewed Publications

The UKCA has been involved with a very large number of studies and research projects. Here is a list of papers published that have a formal UKCA affiliation/attribution.


C Jeancolas, C Gillen, S McMahon, P Vickers. Is astrobiology serious science? Nature Astronomy.

Christophe Malaterre, Inge Loes Ten Kate, Mickael Baqué, Vinciane Debaille, John Lee Grenfell, Emmanuelle J Javaux, Nozair Khawaja, Fabian Klenner, Yannick J Lara, Sean McMahon, Keavin Moore, Lena Noack, CH Lucas Patty, Frank Postberg. Is there such a thing as a biosignature? Astrobiology 23 (11), 1213-1227.

C Gillen, C Jeancolas, S McMahon, P Vickers. The Call for a New Definition of Biosignature. Astrobiology 23 (11), 1228-1237.

Tonietti, L.; Barosa, B.; Pioltelli, E.; Giovannelli, D.; Covone, G.; Di Donato, P.; Cordone, A.; Inno, L.; Magliano, C.; Fiscale, S.; Muscari Tomajoli, M.T.; Napolitano, G.; Piccirillo, A.M.; Della Corte, V.; Santomartino, R.; Rotundi, A. Exploring the Development of Astrobiology Scientific Research Through Bibliometric Network Analysis: A Focus on Biomining and Bioleaching. 2023, 2023050739.

Loron, C.C., Rodriguez Dzul, PJ Orr, AV Gromov, Nicholas C Fraser, S McMahon Molecular fingerprints resolve affinities of Rhynie chert organic fossils. Nat Commun 14, 1387 (2023).

Rosa Santomartino, Nils JH Averesch, Marufa Bhuiyan, Charles S Cockell, Jesse Colangelo, Yosephine Gumulya, Benjamin Lehner, Ivanna Lopez-Ayala, Sean McMahon, Anurup Mohanty, Sergio R Santa Maria, Camilla Urbaniak, Rik Volger, Jiseon Yang, Luis Zea Toward sustainable space exploration: a roadmap for harnessing the power of microorganisms. Nat Commun 14, 1391 (2023). 

Rhys Seeburger, Peter M. Higgins, Niall P. Whiteford, and Charles S. Cockell.Linking Methanogenesis in Low-Temperature Hydrothermal Vent Systems to Planetary Spectra: Methane Biosignatures on an Archean-Earth-like Exoplanet.Astrobiology.Apr 2023.415-430.

Arjun Berera, Daniel J. Brener, and Charles S. Cockell. Detecting Microbiology in the Upper Atmosphere: Relative-Velocity Filtered Sampling.Astrobiology.Apr 2023.469-475.

Daussin, A.; Vannier, P.; Ménager, M.; Daboussy, L.; Šantl-Temkiv, T.; Cockell, C.; Marteinsson, V.Þ. Comparison of Atmospheric and Lithospheric Culturable Bacterial Communities from Two Dissimilar Active Volcanic Sites, Surtsey Island and Fimmvörðuháls Mountain in Iceland. Microorganisms 2023, 11, 665. 

L.J. Perera and C.S. Cockell. Dispersion of Bacteria by Low-Pressure Boiling: Life Detection in Enceladus' Plume Material. Astrobiology.Mar 2023.269-279.

Adam H. Stevens and Charles S. Cockell The Water Activity of Mars-relevant Multicomponent Brines: The Changing Influence of Perchlorate on Habitability over Time 2023 Planet. Sci. J. 4 6DOI 10.3847/PSJ/acaa35

Vickers, Peter and Cowie, Christopher and Dick, Steven J. and Gillen, Catherine and Jeancolas, Cyrille and Rothschild, Lynn J. and McMahon, Sean (2023) 'Confidence of Life Detection: The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.', Astrobiology .

Sigrid Huld, Sean McMahon, Susanne Sjöberg, Ping Huang, and Anna Neubeck.Chemical Gardens Mimic Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectra and Morphology of Biogenic Mn Oxides.Astrobiology.Jan 2023.24-32.


McMahon, S., Jordan, S.F. (2022) A fundamental limit to the search for the oldest fossils. Nature Ecology and Evolution,

Waajen, A. C., Prescott, R., & Cockell, C. S. (2022). Meteorites as Food Source on Early Earth: Growth, Selection, and Inhibition of a Microbial Community on a Carbonaceous Chondrite. Astrobiology.

Santomartino, R., Zea, L., and Cockell, C. S. (2022). ​​​​​The smallest space miners: principles of space biomining. Extremophiles, 26, 1.

McMahon, S., and Cosmidis, J. (2022) False biosignatures on Mars: Anticipating Ambiguity. Journal of the Geological Society

Cockell CS (2022) Bridging the gap between microbial limits and extremes in space: space microbial biotechnology in the next 15 years. Microbial Biotechnology 15, 29-41.

Schwendner, P., Riedo, A., Melton D.J., Horvath, P., Lindner R., Ehrenfreund, P., Beblo-Vranesevic, K., Rettberg, P., Rabbow, E., Westall, F., Bashir, A., Moissl-Eichenger, C., Garcia-Descalzo, L., Gomez, F., Amils, R., Marteinsson, V., Walter, N., Cockell, CS. (2022) Microbial Metabolism of Amino Acids—Biologically Induced Removal of Glycine and the Resulting Fingerprint as a Potential Biosignature. Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences 9:781542


Desai, P., Schmueser, I., Mackenzie Dover, C.M., Underwood, I., and Cockell, C.S. (2021) Development of a Compact Water Activity Sensor System for planetary exploration. Planetary and Space  Science, 195, 1.

McMahon, S., Matthews, J.J., Brasier, A., and Still, J. (2021) Late Ediacaran life on land: desiccated microbial mats and large biofilm streamers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Cockell CS, Schaefer, B., Wuchter, C., Coolen, M.J.L., Grice, K., Schneiders, L., Morgan, J.V., Gulick, S.P.S., Wittmann, A., Lofi, J., Christeson, G.L., Kring, D.A., Whalen, M.T., Bralower, T.J., Osinski, G.R., Claeys, P., Kaskes, P., de Graaf, S., Dehais, T., Goderis, S., Becerra, N,.H., Nixon, S., and IODP-ICPS Expedition 364 Scientsists. (2021) Shaping of the present-day deep biosphere at Chicxulub by the impact catastrophe that ended the Cretaceous. Frontiers in Microbiology 12, 668240.

Thaysen, E., McMahon, S., Strobel, G., Butler, I., Ngwenya, B., Heimemann, N., Wilkinson, M., Hassanpouryouzband, A., McDermott, C., and Edlmann, K. (2021) Estimating Microbial Hydrogen Consumption in Hydrogen Storage in Porous Media as a Basis for Site Selection. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Cockell CS, Santomartino R, Finster K, Waajen AC, Eades LJ, Moeller R, Rettberg P, Fuchs FM, van Houdt R, Leys N, Coninx I, Hatton J, Parmitano L, Krause J, Koehler A, Caplin N, Zuijderduijn L, Mariani A, Pellari SS, Carubia F, Luciani G, Balsamo M, Zolesi D, Nicholson N, Loudon CM, Doswald-Winkler J, Herova M, Rattenbacher B, Wadsworth J, Everroad RC, Demets R. 2021. Microbially-enhanced vanadium mining and bioremediation under micro- and Mars gravity on the International Space Station. Frontiers in Microbiology 11, 5523.

Higgins, P.M., Glein, C.R., Cockell, C.S. (2021) Instantaneous Habitable Windows in the Parameter Space of Enceladus' Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 126, e2021JE006951

Gault S., Cockell CS. (2021). Perchlorate salts exert a dominant, deleterious effect on the structure, stability, and activity of alpha-chymotrypsin. Astrobiology 21, 405-412.

McMahon, S. (2021) Astrobiology (Overview). Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science.

McMahon, S., Ivarsson, M., Wacey, D., Saunders, M., Belivanova, V., Muirhead, D., Knoll, P., Steinbock, O. and Frost, D.A. (2021) Dubiofossils from a Mars‐analogue subsurface palaeoenvironment: The limits of biogenicity criteria. Geobiology (available online).

Mathanlal T, Bhardwaj A, Ramachandran AV, Zorzano MP, Martin-Torres J, Cockell CS. (2021) Subsurface robotic exploration for geomorphology, astrobiology and mining during MINAR6 campaign, Boulby Mine, UK: part II (Results and Discussion). International Journal of Astrobiology 20, 93-108.

Cockell CS, McMahon S, Biddle JF. (2021) When is life a viable hypothesis? The case of Venusian phosphine. Astrobiology 21, 261-264.

Shore, A. J., Wood, R. A., Butler, I. B., Zhuravlev, A. Yu., McMahon, S., Curtis, A., and Bowyer, F. T. (2021) Ediacaran metazoan reveals lophotrochozoan affinity and deepens root of Cambrian Explosion. Science Advances 7, eabf2933.

Cockell CS, Wordsworth R, Whiteford N, Higgins PM. (2021). Minimum units of habitability and their abundance in the universe. Astrobiology 21, 481-489.

Cockell CS. (2021) The biological study of lifeless worlds and environments. Astrobiology 21, 490-504.


Santomartino, R., Waajen, A. C., De Wit, W., Nicholson, N., Parmitano, L., Loudon, C. M., ... & Cockell, C. S. (2020). No effect of microgravity and simulated Mars gravity on final bacterial cell concentrations on the International Space Station: applications to space bioproduction. Frontiers in microbiology, 2414.

Waajen, A. C., Heinz, J., Airo, A., & Schulze-Makuch, D. (2020). Physicochemical Salt Solution Parameters Limit the Survival of Planococcus halocryophilus in Martian Cryobrines. Frontiers in microbiology, 1284.

Cockell, C. S., Santomartino, R., Finster, K., Waajen, A., Eades, L.J., Moeller, R., Rettberg, P., Fuchs, F.M., Van Houdt, R., Leys, N., Coninz, I., et al., (2020) Space station biomining experiment demonstrates rare earth element extraction in microgravity and Mars gravity. Nature Communications 11.

Cockell, C. S.McMahon, S., and Biddle, J. F. (2020) When is Life a Viable Hypothesis?:The Case of Venusian Phosphine. Astrobiology (available online).

Tulej, M., Lukmanov, R., Grimaudo, V., Riedo, A., Koning, C., Ligterink, N. F. W., Neubeck, A., Ivarsson, M., McMahon, S. and Wurz, P. (2020) Determination of the microscopic mineralogy of inclusion in an amygdaloidal pillow basalt by fs-LIMS. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy (available online).

McMahon, S., Parnell, J. and Reekie, P. B. R. (2020) Mars-Analog Calcium Sulfate Veins Record Evidence of Ancient Subsurface Life. Astrobiology 20 (available online).

Cockell, C. S., Wilhelm, M. B. Scott, P., Wadsworth, K., Payler, S., McMahon, S., Paling, S., and Edwards, T. (2020) 0.25 Ga salt deposits preserve signatures of habitable conditions and ancient lipids. Astrobiology 20, 864–877.

McMahon, S. (2020) Do Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence? The Proper Role of Sagan’s Dictum in Astrobiology. In: Smith, K.C., & Mariscal, C. (Eds.), Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology. Oxford University Press, New York.

Cockell CS, Santomartino R, McMahon S, Reekie P, Alberti SJMM, Phillipson T, and Russell S (2019). A laboratory for multi-century science. Astronomy & Geophysics 60, 6.26–6.28



McMahon S (2019). Earth's earliest and deepest purported fossils may be iron-mineralized chemical gardens. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Wordsworth R, Kerber L, and Cockell CS (2019). Enabling Martian habitability with silica aerogel via the solid-state greenhouse effect. Nature Astronomy.

Stevens AH, McDonald A, de Koning C, Riedo A, Preston LJ, Ehrenfreund P, Wurz P, and Cockell CS (2019). Detectability of biosignatures in a low-biomass simulation of martian sediments. Scientific Reports 9, 9706.

Cockell CS, & McMahon S (2019) Lifeless Martian samples and their Significance. Nature Astronomy 3, 468-470.

McMahon S, & Ivarsson M (2019). A new frontier for palaeobiology: Earth's vast deep biosphere. BioEssays 41, 1900052.

Timms NE...Cockell CS et al. (2019) New shock microstructures in titanite (CaTiSiO5) from the peak ring of the Chicxulub impact structure, Mexico. Contributions to Minerlaogy and Petrology 174, article 38.

Payler SJ, Biddle JF, Lollar BS, Fox-Powell MG, Edwards T, Ngwenya BT, Paling SM, Cockell CS. (2019) An ionic limit to life in the deep subsurface. Frontiers in Microbiology 10, article 426.

Rae ASP...Cockell CS et al. (2019) Stress-Strain Evolution During Peak-Ring Formation: A Case Study of the Chicxulub Impact Structure. Journal of Geophysical Research 124, 396-417.

Riller U....Cockell CS et al. (2019) Rock fluidization during peak-ring formation of large impact structures. Nature 564, 511-518

Lim DSS, Abercromby AFJ, Nawotniak, SEK, LNew shock microstructures in titanite (CaTiSiO5) from the peak ring of the Chicxulub impact structure, Mexicoees DS, Miller MJ, Brady AL, Miller MJ, Mirmalek Z, Sehkle A, Payler SJ, Stevens AH, Haberle CW, Beaton KH, Chappell SP, Huhes SS, Cockell CS, Elphic RC, Dows MT, Heldmann JL.  (2019) The BASALT Research Program: Designing and Developing Mission Elements in Support of Human Scientific Exploration of Mars. Astrobiology 19, 245-259.

Hughes SS, Haberle CW, Nawotniak SEK, Sehkle A, Garry WB, Elphic RC, Payler SJ, Stevens AH, Cockell CS, Brady AL, Heldmann JL, Lim DSS. (2019)  Basaltic Terrains in Idaho and Hawai‘i as Planetary Analogs for Mars Geology and Astrobiology. Astrobiology 19, 260-283.

Cockell CS, Harrison JP, Stevens AH, Payler SJ, Hughes SS, Nawotniak SEK, Brady Al, Elphic RC, Haberle CW, Sehkle A, Beaton KH, Abercromby AFJ, Schwendner P, Wadsworth J, Landenmark H, Cane R, Dickinson AW, Nicholson N, Perera L, Lim DSS. (2019) A Low-Diversity Microbiota Inhabits Extreme Terrestrial Basaltic Terrains and Their Fumaroles: Implications for the Exploration of Mars. Astrobiology 19, 284-299.

Beaton KH, Chappell SP, Abercromby AFJ, Miller MJ, Nawotniak SEK, Brady AL, Stevens AH, Payler SJ, Hughes SS, Lim DSS. (2019) Using Science-Driven Analog Research to Investigate Extravehicular Activity Science Operations Concepts and Capabilities for Human Planetary Exploration. Astrobiology 19, 300-320.

Beaton KH, Chappell SP, Abercromby AFJ, Miller MJ, Nawotniak SEK, Brady AL, Stevens AH, Payler SJ, Hughes SS, Lim DSS. (2019) Assessing the Acceptability of Science Operations Concepts and the Level of Mission Enhancement of Capabilities for Human Mars Exploration Extravehicular Activity. Astrobiology 19, 321-346.

Brady AL, Nawotniak SEK, Highes SS, Payler SJ, Stevens AH, Cockell CS, Elphic RC, Ehkle A, Haberle CW, Slater GF, Lim DSS (2019) Strategic Planning Insights for Future Science-Driven Extravehicular Activity on Mars. Astrobiology 19, 347-368.

Stevens AH, Nawotniak SEK, Garry WB, Payler SJ, Brady AL, Miller MJ, Beaton KH, Cockell CS, Lim DSS. (2019) Tactical Scientific Decision-Making during Crewed Astrobiology Mars Missions. Astrobiology 19, 369-386.

Payler SJ, Mirmalek Z, Hughes SS, Nawotniak SEK, Brady AL, Stevens AH, Cockell CS, Lim DSS. (2019) Developing Intra-EVA Science Support Team Practices for a Human Mission to Mars. Astrobiology 19, 387-400.

Nawotniak SEK, Miller MJ, Stevens AH, Marquez JJ, Payler SJ, Brady AL, Hughes SS, Haberle CW, Sehkle A, Beaton KH, Chappell SP, Elphic RC, Lim DSS. (2019) Opportunities and Challenges of Promoting Scientific Dialog throughout Execution of Future Science-Driven Extravehicular Activity. Astrobiology 19, 426-439.

Liu AG, McMahon S, Matthews JJ, Still JW, Brasier AT (2018) Petrological evidence supports the death mask model for the preservation of Ediacaran soft-bodied organisms in South Australia. Geology 47, 215-218.



McMahon S, Hood AS, Parnell J, Bowden S. (2018) Reduction spheroids preserve a uranium isotope record of the ancient deep continental biosphere. Nature Communications 9, 4505.

McMahon, S., Parnell J. (2018) The deep history of Earth's Biomass. Journal of the Geological Society 175, 716-720.

Cockell CS (2018) Using exoplanets to test the universality of biology. Nature Astronomy 2, 758–759.

Matthews, J. J., & McMahon, S. (2018) Exogeoconservation: Protecting Geological Heritage on Celestial Bodies. Acta Astronautica 149, 55–60.

Ulrich N, Nagler K, Laue M, Cockell CS, Setlow P, Moeller R. (2018) Experimental studies addressing the longevity of Bacillus subtilis spores - The first data from a 500-year experiment. PLOS One 13, e0208425.

Riller U, Poelchau MH, Rae ASP, Schulte FM, Collins GS, Melosh HJ, Grieve RAF, Morgan JV, Gulick SPS, Lofi J, Diaw A, McCall N, Kring DA, Morgan JV, Gulick SPS, Green SL, Lofi J, Chenot E, Christeson GL, Claeys P, Cockell CS, Coolen MJL, Ferrière L, Gebhardt C, Goto K, Jones H, Kring DA, Xiao L, Lowery CM, Ocampo-Torres R, Perez-Cruz L, Pickersgill AE, Poelchau MH, Rae ASP, Rasmussen C, Rebolledo-Vieyra M, Riller U, Sato H, Smit J, Tikoo-Schantz SM, Tomioka N, Whalen MT, Wittmann A, Yamaguchi KE, Fucugauchi JU, Bralower TJ. (2018) Rock fluidization during peak-ring formation of large impact structures. Nature 562, 511-518.

Macdonald, S., & Stevens, A. (2018). How to explore planets with drones. Astronomy & Geophysics, 59(3), 3-18.

Cockell CS, Hecht L, Landenmark H, Payler S, Snape M. (2018) Rapid colonization of artificial endolithic uninhabited habitats. International Journal of Astrobiology 17, 386-401.

Cockell CS, Holt J, Campbell J, Groseman H, Josset JL, Bontognali TRR, Phelps A, Hakobyan L, Kuretn L, Beattie A, Blank J, Bonaccorsi R, McKay CP, Shrivastava A, Stoker C, Willson D, McLaughlin S, Payler S, Stevens A, Wadsworth J, Bessone L, Maurer M, Sauro F, Martin-Torres J, Zorzano MP, Bhardwaj A, Soria-Salinas A, Mathanlal T, Nazarious MI, Ramachandran AV, Vaishampayan P, Guan L, Perl SM, Telling J, Boothroyd IM, Tyson O, Realff J, Rowbottom J, Laurent B, Gunn M, Shah S, Singh S, Paling S, Edwards T, Teoman L, Meehan E, Toth C, Scovell P, Suckling B. (2018) Subsurface scientific exploration of extraterrestrial environments (MINAR 5): Analogue science, technology and education in the Boulby Mine, UK. International Journal of Astrobiology 18, 157-182.

Cockell CS, Schwendner P, Perras A, Rettberg P, Beblo-Vranesevic K, Bohmeier M, Rabbow E, Moissl-Eichinger C, Wink L, Marteinsson V, Vannier P, Gomez F, Garcia-Descalzo L, Ehrenfreund P, Monaghan EP, Westall F, Gaboyer F, Amils R, Malki M, Pukall R, Cabezas P, Walter N. (2018) Anaerobic microorganisms in astrobiological analogue environments: from field site to culture collection. International Journal of Astrobiology 17, 314-328.

Cockell CS, Fosado YAG, Hitchen J, Landenmark H, Perera L, Vissers T (2018) Life Beyond – A program to use astrobiology to teach science and advance space exploration through prisons. Journal of Correctional Education 69, 30-43.

Stevens, A.H., Childers, D., Fox-Powell, M., Nicholson, N., Jhoti, E., Cockell, C.S. (2018) Growth, viability and death of planktonic and biofilm Sphingomonas desiccabilis in simulated martian brines. Astrobiology 19, 87-98.

Cockell CS (2018) Life Beyond – planning for Mars in prisons. Astronomy and Geophysics 59, 4.32-4.35.

McMahon, S., Bosak, T., Grotzinger, J., Milliken, R., Summons, R., Daye, M., Newman, S., Fraeman, A., Williford, K. H., & Briggs, D. E. G. (2018) A field guide to finding fossils on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 123, 1012–1040.

Christeson GL, Gulick SPS, Morgan JV, Gebhard  C, Kring DA, Le Ber E, Lofi J, Nixon C, Poelchau M, Rae ASP Rebolledo-Vieyra M, Riller U, Schmitt DR, Wittmann A, Bralower TJ, Chenot E, Claeys P, Cockell CS, Coolen MJL, Ferriere L, Green S, Goto K, Jones H, Lowery CM, Mellett C, Ocampo-Torres R, Perez-Cruz L, Pickersgill AE, Rasmussen C, Sato, H, Smit, J, Tikoo SM, Tomioka N, Urrutia-Fucugauchi J, Whalen MT, Xiao L, Yamaguchi KE. (2018) Extraordinary rocks from the peak ring of the Chicxulub impact crater: P-wave velocity, density, and porosity measurements from IODP/ICDP Expedition 364. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 495, 1-11.

Anderson, R. P., McMahon, S., Macdonald, F. A., Jones, D. S., & Briggs, D. E. G. (2018) Palaeobiology of latest Ediacaran phosphorites from the upper Khesen Fm., Khuvsgul Gp., northern Mongolia. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Early view online.

Lowery CM, Bralower TJ, Owens JD, Rodríguez-Tovar FJ, Jones H, Smit J, Whalen MT, Claeys P, Farley K, Gulick SPS, Morgan JV, Green S, Chenot E, Christeson GL, Cockell CS, Coolen MJL, Ferrière L, Gebhardt C, Goto K, Kring DA, Lofi J, Ocampo-Torres R, Perez-Cruz L, Pickersgill AE, Poelchau MH, Rae ASP, Rasmussen C, Rebolledo-Vieyra M, Riller U, Sato H, Tikoo SM, Tomioka N, Urrutia-Fucugauchi J, Vellekoop J, Wittmann A, Xiao L, Yamaguchi KE, Zylberman W. (2018) Rapid recovery of life at ground zero of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Nature 558, 288-291.

Beblo-Vranesevic K, Bohmeier M, Perras AK, Schwendner P, Rabbow E, Moissl-Eichinger C, Cockell CS,  Vannier P, Marteinsson VT, Monaghan EP,  Ehrenfreund P, Garcia-Descalzo L, Gómez F, Malki M, Amils R, Gaboyer F, Westall F, Cabezas P, Walter N, Rettberg P. (2018) Lack of correlation of desiccation and radiation tolerance in microorganisms from diverse extreme environments tested under anoxic conditions. FEMS Microbiology Letters 365, fny044

Schwendner P,  Bohmeier M, Rettberg P, Beblo-Vranesevic K, Gaboyer F, Moissl-Eichinger C, Perras AK, Vannier P, Marteinsson VT, Garcia-Descalzo L, Gómez F, Malki M, Amils R, Westall F, Riedo A, Monaghan EP, Ehrenfreund P, Cabezas P, Walter N, Cockell CS. (2018) Beyond chloride brines: Variable metabolomic responses in the anaerobic organism Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to NaCl and MgSO4 at identical water activity. Frontiers in Microbiology 9, 335.

Harrison JP, Boardman C, O'Callaghan K, Delort A-M, Song J. (2018) Biodegradability standards for carrier bags and plastic films in aquatic environments: a critical review. Royal Society Open Science DOI:10.1098/rsos.171792.

Schwieterman EW, Kiang NY, Parenteau MN, Harman CE, DasSarma S, Fisher TM, Arney GN, Hartnett HE, Reinhard CT, Olson SL, Meadows VS, Cockell CS, Walker SI, Grenfell JL, Hegde S, Rugheimer S, Hu RY, Lyons TW. (2018) Exoplanet biosignatures: A review of remotely detectable signs of life. Astrobiology 18, 663-708.

Fox-Powell MG, Cockell CS. (2018) Building a geochemical view of microbial salt tolerance: Halophilic adaptation of Marinococcus in a natural magnesium sulfate brine. Frontiers in Microbiology 9, 739.

Stevens AH, Steer E, McDonald A, Amador ES, Cockell CS. (2018) Y-Mars: An astrobiological analogue of Martian mudstone. Earth and Space Science 5, 163-174.

Cockell CS, Biller B, Bryce C, Cousins C, Direito S, Forgan D, Fox-Powell M, Harrison J, Landenmark H, Nixon S, Payler SJ, Rice K, Samuels T, Schwendner P,  StevensA, Nicholson N, Wadsworth J. (2018) The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011-2016. Astrobiology 18, 224-243.



Beblo-Vranesevic K, Bohmeier M, Perras AK, Schwendner P, Rabbow E, Moissl-Eichinger C, Cockell CS, Pukall R, Vannier P, Marteinsson VT, Monaghan EP,  Ehrenfreund P, Garcia-Descalzo L, Gomez F, Malki M, Amils R, Gaboyer F, Westall F, Cabezas P, Walter N, Rettberg P. (2017) The responses of an anaerobic microorganism, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined simulated Martian stresses. PloS ONE 12, e0185178.

Gaboyer F, Le Milbeau C, Bohmeier M, Schwendner P, Vannier P, Beblo-Vranesevic K, Rabbow E, Foucher F, Gautret P, Guegan R, Richard A, Sauldubois A, Richmann P, Perras AK, Moissl-Eichinger C, Cockell CS, Rettberg P, Marteinsson V, Monaghan E, Ehrenfreund P, Garcia-Descalzo L, Gomez F, Malki M, Amils R, Cabezas P, Walter N, Westall F. (2017) Mineralization and preservation of an extremotolerant bacterium isolated from an early Mars analog environment. Scientific Reports 7, 8775.

Locatelli, E., McMahon, S., & Bilger, H. (2017) Biofilms mediate the preservation of leaf adpression fossils by clays. Palaios 32, 708–724.

Wadsworth, J. and C.S. Cockell (2017), Perchlorates on Mars enhance the bacteriocidal effects of UV light. Scientific Reports, 2017. 7,  4662. 

Loudon, C., Nicholson, N., Finster, K., Leys, N., Byloos, B., Van Houdt, R., . . . Cockell, C. (2017). BioRock: New experiments and hardware to investigate microbe–mineral interactions in space. International Journal of Astrobiology, 17, 301-313.

Nixon, S. L., Telling, J. P., Wadham, J. L., and Cockell, C. S. (2017) Viable cold-tolerant iron-reducing microorganisms in geographically diverse subglacial environments. Biogeosciences. 14, 1445-1455.

Cockell CS, Brown S, Landenmark H, Samuels T, Siddall R, Wadsworth J. (2017). Liquid water restricts habitability in extreme deserts. Astrobiology 17, 309-318.

Morgan, J.V., Gulick, S.P.S., Bralower, T., Chenot, E., Christeson, G., Claeys, P., Cockell, C.S., Collins, G.S., Coolen, M.J.L., Ferriere, L., Gebhardt, C., Goto, K., Jones, H., Kring, D.A., Le Ber, E., Lofi, J., Long, X., Lowery, C., Mellett, C., Ocampo-Torres, R., Osinski, G.R., Perez-Cruz, L., Pickersgill, A., Poelchau, M., Rae, A., Rasmussen, C., Rebolledo-Vieyra, M., Riller, U., Sato, H., D.R., Smit, J., Tikoo, S., Tomioka, N., Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.,  Whalen, M., Wittmann, A., Yamaguchi, K.E. and Zylberman, W. (2016) The formation of peak rings in large impact craters. Science 354, 878-882.

Wadsworth J, Cockell CS. 2017. The Janus face of iron on anoxic worlds: iron oxides are both protective and destructive to life on the early Earth and present-day Mars. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 93, doi: 10.1093/femsec/fix056.

Martins Z, Corrin H, Kotler JM, Carrasco N, Cockell CS, Noetzel RD, Demets R, de Vera JP, d’Hendecourt L, Ehrenfreund P, Elsaesser A, Foing B, Onofri S, Quinn R, Rabbow E, Rettberg E, Rettberg P, Ricco AJ, Slenzka K, Stakport F, ten Kate IL, van Loon JJWA, Westall F. 2017. Earth as a tool for astrobiology: a European perspective. Space Science Reviews 209, 43-81.

Cottin H, Kotler JM, Bartik K, Cleaves HJ, Cockell CS, de Vera JP, Ehrenfreund P, Leuko S, ten Kate IL, Martins Z, Pascal R, Quinn R, Rettberg P, Westall F. 2017. Astrobiology and the possibility of life on Earth and elsewhere. Space Science Reviews 209, 1-42.

Josset, J.-L., Westall, F., Hofmann, B.A., Spray, J., Cockell, C.S.,  Kempe, S.,  Griffiths, A.D., Cristina de Sanctis, M., Colangeli, L., Koschny, D., Föllmi, K., Verrecchia, E.,  Diamond, L., Josset, M.,  Javaux, E.J., Esposito, F., Gunn, M., Souchon, A.L., Bontognali, T., Korablev, O., Erkman, S., Paar, G., Ulamec, S., Foucher, F., Martin, P., Verhaeghe, A., Tanevski, M., Vago, J.L.  (2017) The Close-Up Imager (CLUPI) on-board the ESA ExoMars Rover: Objectives, description, operations, and science validation activities. Astrobiology 17, 595-611.

Stevens, A.H.., Patel, M.R. Lewis, S.R. (2017) Modelled isotopic fractionation and transient diffusive release of methane from potential subsurface sources on Mars, Icarus. 281:240-247.

Forgan, D.H., Dayal, P., Cockell, C.S. and Libeskind, N. (2017) Evaluating galactic habitability using high-resolution cosmological simulations of galaxy formation. International Journal of Astrobiology 16:60-73.

Harrison, J.P., Angel, R., and Cockell, C.S. (2017) Astrobiology as a framework for investigating antibiotic susceptibility: a study of Halomonas hydrothermalis. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20160942.

Yates, J.S., Palmer, P. I., Biller, B., and Cockell, C.S. (2017) Atmospheric habitable zones in Y dwarf atmospheres. Astrophysical Journal 836:art184.



Bryce, C., LeBihan, T., Martin, S.F., Harrison, J.P., Bush, T., Spears, B., Moore, A., Leys, N., Byloos, B., and Cockell, C.S. (2016) Rock geochemistry induces stress and starvation responses in the bacterial proteome. Environmental Microbiology 18:1110-11121.

Cockell, C.S. (2016) The similarity of life across the Universe. Molecular Biology of the Cell 27:1553-1555.

Cockell, C.S. (editor) (2016) Dissent, Revolution and Liberty Beyond Earth. Springer, Heidelberg.

Fox-Powell, M.G., Hallsworth, J.E., Cousins, C.R., and Cockell, C.S. (2016) Ionic Strength Is a Barrier to the Habitability of Mars. Astrobiology 16:427-442.

Freeman, K., Harrison, J.P., Dobinson, L., Cockell, C.S., McKenzie, R., Wylie, D., Nixon, S.L. (2016) Mapping limits to life on Earth. Astronomy and Geophysics 57:2.15-2.17.

Harrison, J.P., Aggarwal, S.D., and Cockell, C.S. (2016) Salinity influences the response of Halomonas hydrothermalis to artificial fossilization by evaporative silicification. Geomicrobiology Journal 33:377-386.

Pontefract, A., Osinski, G.R., Cockell, C.S., Southam, G., McLausland, P.J.A., Umoh, J. and Holdsworth, D.W. (2016) Microbial diversity of impact-generated habitats. Astrobiology 16: 775-786.Moissl-Eichinger, C., Cockell, C.S., Rettberg, P. (2016) Venturing into new realms? Microorganisms in space. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 40(5): 722-737.

Payler, S.J., Biddle, J.F., Coates, A., Cousins, C.R., Cross, R.E., Cullen, D.C., Downs, M.T., Direito, S.O.L., Gray, A.L., Genis, J., Gunn, M., Hansford, G.M., Harkness, P., Holt, J., Josset, J-L., Li, X., Lees, D.S., Lim, D.S.S., McHugh, M., McLuckie, D., Meehan, E., Paling, S.M., Souchon, A., Yeoman, L., and Cockell, C.S. (2016) Planetary Science and Exploration in the Deep Subsurface: Results from the MINAR Program, Boulby Mine, UK. International Journal of Astrobiology 15: 333-344.

Stevens, A., Forgan, D., and O’Malley James, J. (2016) Observational signatures of self-destructive civilizations. International Journal of Astrobiology 15:333-344.


2015 and earlier

Bryce, C., Horneck, G., Rabbow, E., Edwards, H.G.M., and Cockell, C.S. (2015) Impact shocked rocks as protective habitats on an anoxic early Earth. International Journal of Astrobiology 14:115-122.

Cockell, C.S. (editor) (2015) The Meaning of Liberty Beyond Earth. Springer, Heidelberg.

Cockell, C.S. (editor) (2015) Human Governance Beyond Earth: Implications for Freedom. Springer, Heidelberg.

Cockell, C.S. (2015) Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe. Wiley-Blackwell, UK.

Cockell, C.S., Bush, T., Bryce, C., Direito, S., Fox-Powell, M., Harrison, J.P., Lammer, H., Landenmark, H., Martin-Torres, J., Nicholson, N., Noack, L., O’Malley-James, J., Payler, S.J., Rushby, A., Samuels, T., Schwendner, P., Wadsworth, J., and Zorzano, M.P. (2015) Habitability: A review. Astrobiology 16:89-117.

Cockell, C.S., Cousins, C., Wilkinson, P.T., Olsson-Francis, K., and Rositis, B. (2015) Are thermophilic microorganisms active in cold environments? International Journal of Astrobiology 14:457-463.

Cockell, C.S., Samuels, T., Sirks, E., Mayer, M., Friswell, I.,  Nicholson, T., Schröder, A., Nagler, K., Raguse, M., Rettberg, P., and Moeller, R. (2015) A 500-year experiment. Astronomy and Geophysics 56: 1.28-1.29.

Cousins, C.R. (2015) Volcanogenic fluvial-lacustrine environments in Iceland and their implication for identifying past habitability on Mars. Life 5:568-586.

Cousins, C.R., Cockell, C.S., and the Geobiology in Space Exploration Topical Team. (2015) An ESA Roadmap for Geobiology in Space Exploration. Acta Astronautica 118:286-295.

Direito, S., Clark, S., Cousins, C., Fujita, Y., Gluyas, J., Harley, S., Holmes, R.J., Hutchinson, I., Kudryavtsev, V.A., Lloyd, J., Main, I.G., Nayloe, M., Payler, S., Smith, N., Spooner, N.J.C., Telfer, S., Thompson, L.F., Wouters, K., Wragg, J., and Cockell, C.S. (2015) Geological Repositories: Scientific priorities and potential high technology transfer from the space sector. Mineralogical Magazine November, DOI: 10.1180/minmag.2015.079.6.

Forgan, D.H., Mead, A., Cockell, C.S., and Raven, J.A. (2015) Surface flux patterns on planets in circumbinary systems and potential for photosynthesis. International Journal of Astrobiology 14:465-478.

Harris, J.K., Cousins, C.R., Gunn, M., Grindrod, P.M., Barnes, D.P., Crawford, I.A., Cross, R., and Coates, A.J. (2015) Remote detection of past habitability at Mars-analogue hydrothermal alteration terrains using an ExoMars Panoramic Camera Emulator. Icarus 252:284-300.

Harrison, J.P., Hallsworth, J.E., and Cockell, C.S. (2015a) Reduction of the temperature sensitivity of Halomonas hydrothermalis by iron starvation combined with microaerobic conditions. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81:2156-2162.

Harrison, J.P., Dobinson, L., Freeman, K., McKenzie, R., Wyllie, D., Nixon, S.L., and Cockell, C.S. (2015b) Aerobically respiring prokaryotic strains exhibit a broader temperature–pH–salinity space for cell division than anaerobically respiring and fermentative strains. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 12:20150658.

Landenmark, H.K.E., Forgan, D.H., and Cockell, C.S. (2015) An estimate of the total DNA in the biosphere. PLoS Biology 13: e1002168

Martin, D. and Cockell, C.S. (2015) PELS (Planetary Environmental Liquid Simulator): A new type of simulation facility to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments. Astrobiology 15: 111-118.

Martin-Torres, F.J., Zorzano, M.P., Valentin-Serrano, P., Harri, A.M., Genzer, M., Kemppinen, O., Rivera-Valentin, E.G., Jun, I., Wray, J., Madsen, M.B., Goetz, W., McEwan, A.S., Hardgrove, C., Renno, N., Chevrier, V.F., Mischna, M., Navarro-Gonzalez, R., Martinez-Frias, J., Conrad, P., McConnochie, T., Cockell, C., Berger, G., Vasavada, A.R., Sumner, D., and Vaniman, D. (2015) Transient liquid water and water activity at Gale crater on Mars. Nature Geoscience DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2412.

Nixon, S.L. and Cockell, C.S. (2015) Nonproteinogenic D-amino acids at millimolar concentrations are a toxin for anaerobic microorganisms relevant to early Earth and other anoxic planets. Astrobiology 15:238-246.

Noack, L., Verseux, C., Serrano, P., Musilova, M., Nauny, P., Samuels, T., Schwendner, P., Simoncini, E., and Stevens, A. (2015) Astrobiology from early-career scientists’ perspective. International Journal of Astrobiology 14:533-535.

O’Malley-James, J.T., Greaves, J.S., Raven, J.A., and Cockell, C.S. (2015) In search of future Earths: Assessing the possibility of finding Earth analogues in the later stages of their habitable lifetimes. Astrobiology 15:400-411.

Samuels, T., Noack, L., Verseux, C., and Serrano, P. (2015) A new network for astrobiology in Europe. Astronomy and Geophysics 56: 2.15-2.17.

Schwieterman, E.W., Cockell, C.S., and Meadows, V.S. (2015) Nonphotosynthetic pigments as potential biosignatures. Astrobiology 15:341-361.

Stevenson, A., Burkhardt, J., and Cockell, C.S. (2015) Multiplication of microbes below 0.690 water activity: implications for terrestrial and extraterrestrial life. Environmental Microbiology 17:257-277.

Brown, S.P., Mead, A.J., Forgan, D.H., Raven, J.A., and Cockell, C.S. (2014) Photosynthetic potential of planets in 3:2 spin-orbit resonances. International Journal of Astrobiology 13:279-289.

Cockell, C.S. (2014) Trajectories of Martian habitability. Astrobiology 14:182-203.

Cockell, C.S. (2014) Habitable worlds with no signs of life. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 372:20130082.

Cockell, C.S. (2014) The 500-year microbiology experiment. Microbiology Today May:95.

Cockell, C.S. (2014) Types of habitat in the Universe. International Journal of Astrobiology 13:158-164.

Kelly, L.C., Cockell, C.S., Thorsteinsson, T., Marteinsson, V., and Stevenson, J. (2014) Pioneer microbial communities of the Fimmvörðuháls Lava Flow, Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Microbial Ecology DOI 10.1007/s00248-014-0432-3.

O’Malley-James, J.T., Cockell, C.S., Greaves, J.S., and Raven, J.A. (2014) Swansong biospheres II: the final signs of life on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes. International Journal of Astrobiology 13:229-243.

Perfumo, A., Elsaesser, A., Littmann, S., Foster, R.A., Kuypers, M.M.M., Cockell, C.S., and Kminek, G. (2014) Epifluorescence, SEM, TEM and nanoSIMS image analysis of the cold phenotype of Clostridium psychrophilum at subzero temperatures. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 90: 869-882.

Pontefract, A., Osinski, G.R., Cockell, C.S., Moore, C.A., Moores, J.E., and Southam, G. (2014) Impact-generated endolithic habitat within crystalline rocks of the Haughton Impact Structure, Devon Island, Canada. Astrobiology 14:522-533.

Cockell, C.S. and Nixon, S.L. (2013) The boundaries of life. In Smith IWM, Cockell CS, Leach, S (eds). Astrochemistry and Astrobiology. Springer, Heidelberg, pp211-242.

Cockell, C.S., Payler, S., Paling, S., and McLuckie, D. (2013) Boulby International Subsurface Astrobiology Laboratory. Astronomy and Geophysics 54:2.25-2.27.

Cousins, C.R., Crawford, I.A., Carrivick, J.L., Gunn, M., Harris, J., Kee, T.P., Karlsson, M., Carmody, L., Cockell, C.S., Herschy, B., and Joy, K.H. (2013) Glaciovolcanic hydrothermal environments in Iceland and implications for their detection on Mars. Journal of Volcanology and  Geothermal Research 256:61-77.

Harrison, J.P., Gheeraert, N., Tsigelnitskiy, D., and Cockell, C.S. (2013) The limits for life under multiple extremes. Trends in Microbiology 21:204-212.

Nixon, S.L., Cousins, C.R., and Cockell, C.S. (2013) Plausible microbial metabolisms on Mars. Astronomy and Geophysics 54:1.13-1.16.

O’Malley-James, J.T., Greaves, J.S., Raven, J.S., and Cockell, C.S. (2013) Swansong biospheres: refuges for life and novel microbial biospheres on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes. International Journal of Astrobiology 12:99-112.

Raafat, K., Burnett, J., Chapman, T, and Cockell, C.S. (2013) The physics of mining in space. Astronomy and Geophysics 54:5.10-5.12

Smith, I.W.M., Cockell, C.S., and Leach, S. (2013) Astrochemistry and Astrobiology. Springer, Heidelberg.

Nixon, S.L., Cockell, C.S., and Tranter, M. (2012) Limitations to a microbial iron cycle on Mars. Planetary and Space Science 72:116-128.