HYBRID: Searching for Life beyond Earth

A lecture in the "Physics & Pizza" series (held in English)

Mo, 13.02.2023 18:15  –   Mo, 13.02.2023 20:15
Dr. Andreas Elsaesser, Lead Experimental Biophysics and Space Sciences, ElsaesserLab, Department of Physics, Freie Universitaet Berlin
Magnus-Haus Berlin
Am Kupfergraben 7, 10117 Berlin, Germany

also to be followed ONLINE
Registration required
Contact person:
Andreas Böttcher, , 030/201748-0
request for access to online streaming


The event in the Magnus-Haus is already OVERBOOKED!
We strongly recommend to watch the lecture online.

Topic: Planetary exploration is currently at a stage where virtually all space agencies in the world are intensifying their efforts to reach other bodies in our solar system to find traces of life or biosignatures. What specific signs of life are stable enough to remain detectable as biosignature gas in a planetary atmosphere or as biomarkers on a planetary surface? Understanding fundamental effects and processes of organic molecules and living systems is of central interest for future life-detection missions. We simulate planetary conditions in the laboratory and in space to investigate spectral features and fragmentation patterns of organic molecules. Our research supports ESA/NASA missions dedicated to the search for life beyond Earth.

CV: The interdisciplinary expertise of Andreas Elsaesser spans from biophysics to exobiology, astrochemistry and space sciences. He studied physics in Munich and finished his PhD in biophysics in the United Kingdom. As a postdoc, he worked at the University of Leiden, in collaboration with ESA and NASA and returned with a Marie Curie Fellowship to Germany. As Freigeist Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation, he leads the ‘Experimental Biophysics and Space Sciences’ group at the Physics Department of Freie Universitaet Berlin and PI of several ESA space exposure experiments on the ISS (e.g. OREOcube, Exocube, SpectroCube). A main focus of his work and research is how to detect life on other planets in our solar system and beyond.

Following the lecture, there will be a get-together where participants can exchange ideas with each other over pizza and drinks in the Remise and the garden of the Magnus-Haus.

The event is sponsored by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.