Students and faculty at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab on the Spring 2018 UWAB workshop.
Students and faculty at Yellowstone National Park on the Fall 2015 UWAB workshop.
Graduate student Elena Amador at the NASA Nordic Astrobiology Summer School in Iceland
Graduate Student Giada Arney at Shark Bay in Western Australia. Shark Bay is home to living stromatolites, photosynthetic microbial mats that exist in the fossil record as early as 3.5 billion years ago.

Welcome to Astrobiology at the University of Washington

UWAB Headlines


Will We Know Life When We See It?

UW researchers in the Virtual Planetary Laboratory led and were co-authors on a series of papers published in the journal Astrobiology outlining the history — and suggesting the future — of the search for life on exoplanets. In this set of papers, researchers investigated the most promising signs of life (biosignatures), and considered how to interpret these signs if we were to detect them on an exoplanet. “For life to be detectable on a distant world it needs to strongly modify its planet in a way that we can detect,” said UW astronomy professor Victoria Meadows. The NASA press release can be found here. MORE>


Astrobiology Top 10: How Phosphorus helped oxygenate Earth's Atmosphere

A paper by Astrobiology student Mike Kipp (ESS) and AB Alumna Eva Stueeken (2014), now at University of St Andrews in Scotland, has been recognized as one of the Top 10 astrobiology discoveries of the year by Astrobiology magazine! The paper can be found here MORE>


Marshall Styczinski awarded NASA Earth & Space Science Fellowship

Astrobiology Graduate Certificate and Physics Ph.D student Marshall Styczinski, was just awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF)! Marshall's project is focused on applying multifluid plasma models to Europa. The end goal is a better understanding of how Europa's oceans are distributed, by comparing simulated spacecraft data to measurements by the Galileo mission.  MORE>


Josh Krissansen-Totton receives Graduate Dean's Medalist Award

Astrobiology/ESS student Josh Krissansen-Totton was awarded the annual UW College of the Environment “Graduate Dean’s Medalist Award” for outstanding academic achievement as a graduate student! Josh has published eight papers as a graduate student, and on six of those he was the first author. Congratulations Josh! MORE>


UW Astrobiology Director Victoria Meadows Receives the Drake Award

The SETI Institute’s prestigious award is named for Dr. Frank Drake, the pioneering astronomer who founded the modern field of experimental searches for intelligent civilizations among the stars, and the first President of the SETI Institute’s Board of Trustees. He is also the creator of the Drake Equation, acknowledged by many to be a roadmap for astrobiology, or the study of life in the Universe. Previous winners of the Drake Award include Charles Townes, a Nobel Prize winner for his work on developing masers and lasers, and William Borucki, the Principal Investigator for NASA’s Kepler mission, which has discovered thousands of exoplanets, including many with the possibility of sustaining life. Meadows will be the first woman to receive the Drake Award. MORE>