44921 - Astrobiology

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Barbara Cavalazzi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD GEO/01

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2019/2020

Course contents

- Astrobiology, life and space missions

- First billion of years on Earth

- Habitability and origin of life

- Archean fossil record and biosignatures

- Earth life, rise of oxygen, mass extinctions

- Extreme environments

- Planetary habitability

- Planetary geology

- Astrobiology of Mars and exoplanets

- Future of ife

Field activity focusing in mapping and sampling a site of astrobiological interest. Samples collected will be studied via SEM-EDX for biosignatures detection.


PDF of the lectures will be available (via AMS campus) during the semester.

Suggested books for further readings:

- Cavalazzi, Westall, 2019. Biosignatures for astrobiology. Springer, 347 pagine.

- Rossi, van Gasselt, 2018. Planetary Geology. Springer, 433 pagine.

- Cockell, 2015. Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe. Wiley-Blackwell, 472 pagine.

- Kolb, 2014. Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 504 pagine.

- Gargaud et al., 2012. Young Sun, Early Earth and the Origins of Life: Lessons for Astrobiology. Springer, 301 pagine.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures, seminars, lectures/exsercises in the museum and in the field, seminars.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist in preparing a critical report of the field and lab activities.

Teaching tools

Slide projections, PC, lab. experience, visit at the Museum of Mineralogy-BiGeA Dept., follow-up material and readings, online contents.

Office hours

See the website of Barbara Cavalazzi