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The relevance of Ecophysiology in Astrobiology and Planetary Research: Implications for the Characterization of the Habitability of Planets and Biosignatures

de Vera, Jean Pierre Paul (2020) The relevance of Ecophysiology in Astrobiology and Planetary Research: Implications for the Characterization of the Habitability of Planets and Biosignatures. Habilitation, Universität Potsdam.

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Abstract

Eco-physiological processes are expressing the interaction of organisms within an environmental context of their habitat and their degree of adaptation, level of resistance as well as the limits of life in a changing environment. The present study focuses on observations achieved by methods used in this scientific discipline of “Ecophysiology” and to enlarge the scientific context in a broader range of understanding with universal character. The present eco-physiological work is building the basis for classifying and exploring the degree of habitability of another planet like Mars by a bio-driven experimentally approach. It offers also new ways of identifying key-molecules which are playing a specific role in physiological processes of tested organisms to serve as well as potential biosignatures in future space exploration missions with the goal to search for life. This has important implications for the new emerging scientific field of Astrobiology. Astrobiology addresses the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. The three fundamental questions which are hidden behind this definition are: how does life begin and evolve? Is there life beyond Earth and, if so, how can we detect it? What is the future of life on Earth and in the universe? It means that this multidisciplinary field encompasses the search for habitable environments in our Solar System and habitable planets outside our Solar System. It comprises the search for the evidence of prebiotic chemistry and life on Mars and other bodies in our Solar System like the icy moons of the Jovian and Saturnian system, laboratory and field research into the origins and early evolution of life on Earth, and studies of the potential for life to adapt to challenges on Earth and in space. For this purpose an integrated research strategy was applied, which connects field research, laboratory research allowing planetary simulation experiments with investigation enterprises performed in space (particularly performed in the low Earth Orbit.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/138816/
Document Type:Thesis (Habilitation)
Title:The relevance of Ecophysiology in Astrobiology and Planetary Research: Implications for the Characterization of the Habitability of Planets and Biosignatures
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
de Vera, Jean Pierre Pauljean-pierre.devera (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9530-5821
Date:13 January 2020
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:219
Status:Published
Keywords:Astrobiology; Ecophysiology; Planetary Simulation; Biosignatures; Habitability
Institution:Universität Potsdam
Department:Institute of Biochemistry and and Biology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Laboratories
Deposited By: de Vera, Dr. Jean Pierre Paul
Deposited On:01 Dec 2020 10:23
Last Modified:01 Dec 2020 10:23

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