University of California, Riverside

Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center



Working Groups


Stromatolites

Paleontologists and paleobiologists will analyze records of evolving life from the onset of oxygenic photosynthesis to the rise of animals. Recently established protocols for collecting and processing samples for uncompromised biomarker reconstructions of past life will inform the organic work. ‘Omic’ specialists and microbiologists will simultaneously explore evolvinglife and specifically parallel phylogenomic records that track protein function and metal utilization asinformed by our independent tracers of metal availability and overall ocean redox.


Leader: Chris Reinhard
Members: Droser, Dupont, Glass, Javaux, Love, Tang, Tebo

Stromatolites

Biogeochemists and geologists will apply geochemical proxies to roughly three billion years of the rock record, with all necessary geological attention paid to the secondary overprints that can shift proxy data away from being faithful archives of primary conditions in the ocean and atmosphere. Experimentalists and modern system biogeochemists will workin the lab and in modern marine and nonmarine settings to define and calibrate the next generation of tracers for atmospheric composition, tectonic processes, and nutrient delivery to the ocean.


Leader: Noah Planavsky
Members: Anbar, Bekker, Blake, Canfield, Glass, Love, Lyons, Reinhard, Revsbech, Tang, Tebo
Tectonic Drivers

It has proven difficult to meaningfully bridge tectonics and biogeochemistry, particularly as related to the timing and mechanisms of continent formation and stabilization through diverse plate interactions, including thehistory of subduction and supercontinent formation. For that reason, geologists and geophysicists will be devoted to theoretical and data-based models for Earth’s tectonic history and mantle dynamics as tied to first-order controls on biospheric evolution.


Leader: Noah Planavsky
Members: Bekker, Evans, Korenaga, Lee

Earth System Synthesis

Geochemists and numerical modelers will build a picture of evolving Earth surface and atmospheric composition as informed by the data the team generates, thereby helping to establish better proxies and protocols as the specific parameters essential to modeling the Earth system through time become clear.


Leader: Chris Reinhard
Members: Anbar, Kasting, Korenaga, Lee

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center
2460 Geology

Tel: (951) 827-3106
E-mail: astrobiology@ucr.edu

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