From left to rigth: Daniela Billi, Giuseppe Gallo, Kirsi Lehto, Claudia Hahn (ME-SBA), Rocco L. Mancinelli, Frances Westall, Bo Byloos, Katja Nagler (2nd prize; ME-SBA), Sherry L. Cady, Alexandra Perras (1st prize), Charles S. Cockell, Corinna Panitz, Dagmar Koschnitzki (3rd prize), Ralf Moeller, Michaela Musilova, Claudia Pacelli (Image by Natasha Nicholson).
From 13th to 16th October the 14th European Astrobiology Conference (EANA14) was organized and hosted in Edinburgh (UK) by the UK Centre for Astrobiology (Prof. Dr. Charles S. Cockell and his team). Over 150 scientists from over 30 different countries participated in the EANA2014 conference, presented their work and discussed current issues of the ongoing astrobiological projects.
One of the major aims of EANA (European Astrobiology Network Association) is education and support of young astrobiology-interested scientists. Since 2011 the astrobiology research group of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (contact person: Dr. Ralf Möller) is coordinating and organizing sessions (i.e., the EANA Students Contest “Space Factor”) exclusively for young scientists (PhD students and PostDocs) to present their research to all conference participants in order to introduce them to other young scientists, senior researchers and collaborators. In total, nine student contributions were selected, presented during the conference and evaluated by five different astrobiology experts. As best young researcher Alexandra Perras (Medical University Graz, Austria) was awarded for her talk about „Grappling hooks: The life style and ultrastructure of the SM1 Euryarchaeon which thrives in a Mars analogue site“. Two young researchers and SpaceLife PhD students of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine received the 2nd (Katja Nagler) and 3rd (Dagmar Koschnitzki) prizes of the contest.
In September 2015 the EANA meeting will be organized and hosted by the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA), in Noordwijk (The Netherlands).
Dr. Ralf Möller
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Email: Ralf Moeller