Earth & Space Sciences

Office: JHN 325
Box Number: 351510

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Habitability & Life on Mars, Space Exploration

After a doctorate in the Dept. of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at the University of Oxford, England, I worked as a planetary scientist near San Francisco at NASA’s Ames Research Center from 1995-2001. In 2001, I joined the faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle.
I also had a stint as European Union Marie Curie Chair in Earth and Planetary System Science at the University of Bristol, England, from 2005-2008, while also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington. Currently, I'm a Professor jointly appointed to the Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences and cross-campus Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington.
My research interests revolve around understanding the co-evolution of planetary atmospheres, planetary surfaces, and life. This includes collecting and interpreting data from other planets and the Earth. A key goal is to understand the habitability of planets in general. I have also been involved in NASA’s exploration of Mars and was part of a 35-person team of scientists responsible for NASA’s Phoenix Mission, a probe that landed and operated successfully in the northern polar region of Mars in 2008. 
I am author of the book, Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction-- a readable and up-to-date summary of the subject. I also have co-written a technical book aimed at researchers and PhD students entitled Atmospheric Evolution on Inhabited and Lifeless Worlds.
For more info on research, check out my publications.
Prof. Catling is currently accepting new students!
Current Students:
Steven Sholes