Short Course Presentations

Karen Lloyd
Univ. of Tennessee
Microbial Energy Sources and Subsurface Life
Frank Corsetti
Proof of Microbial Life: Geobiology in Planetary Analog Systems
Christine Foreman
Montana State Univ.
Extreme Environment Microbiology in Ices
Martin Homann
Univ. College London

Understanding Astrobiological False Positives from Terrestrial Microbiology


Lecture 1 – "Microbial Energy Sources and Subsurface Life" – Karen Lloyd

Goal: To highlight the nutrients and potential metabolic processes of subsurface microbiology.

  • What are the typical nutrient sources for microbial life?
  • Within subsurface regolith settings what has been the best methods of preservation?
  • What has been an example of a successful determination of biogenicity in the rock and mineral record?

Lecture 2 – "Proof of Microbial Life: Geobiology in Planetary Analog Systems" – Frank Corsetti

Goal: To quantify multiple lines of evidence for physical biosignatures with biological references in the geologic record.

  • What are the metrics of biogenicity that build confidence in preservation of biology?
  • How can geobiology in the terrestrial rock record help inform future astrobiology measurements?
  • What are the pitfalls of false positives that have been misinterpreted that we can learn from?

Lecture 3 – "Extreme Environment Microbiology in Ices" – Christine Foreman

Goal: To quantify the degree of biogenicity from microorganisms and habitats in frozen environments.

  • How can the survivability of microbial communities in ice help guide proper life detection experiments?
  • What has impacted and improved the degree of biogenic and biotic preservation in frozen settings?
  • What are the best practices for a design of experiments for assessing cellular communities in ices?

Lecture 4 – "Understanding Astrobiological False Positives from Terrestrial Microbiology" – Martin Homann

Goal: To highlight the rock record preservation of biogenic information and to determine how to avoid false positives.

  • What lines of evidence provide the clearest validation of ancient biology in the record?
  • What sample lithologies and accompanying micriobiological techniques should we use for terrestrial life detection?
  • How can we use the lessons learned from terrestrial geobiology to help us design a planetary design of experiments?