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Life and the Solar System


Graziella Caprarelli, University of Technology

David Wacey, University of Western Australia

Marc Norman, Australian National University

Invitation for Contributions

We invite multidisciplinary contributions that examine the origin and evolution of life and planetary systems. The following topics have been identified as likely thematic sessions, but we invite proposals for related colloquia.


Life on Earth

  1. The Pilbara Archean Drilling Project – An Update. Following on from the highly successful session at AESC 2008, contributions detailing putative signs of life and clues to early Earth environments are particularly welcome.
  2. 21st Century Advances in the Study of Archean Life. The last decade has seen an explosion of new techniques and significant improvements in techniques that have greatly aided the study of Archean life. We welcome research using (but not limited to) SIMS, TEM, SEM, synchrotron radiation, lasers, and molecular techniques.
  3. Stromatolites past and present. This session aims to bring together researchers investigating both modern and ancient stromatolites and microbial mats to increase our understanding of stromatolite ecosystems and better evaluate the biogenicity of ancient examples.
  4. Novel Approaches to Investigating Major Events in the Evolution of Life. Contributions that elucidate key moments, conditions, or events that exerted a major influence on the evolution of life are invited. This could include contributions in palaeontology, palaeoecology, geobiology and geochemistry, and encompassing all periods of Earth history.

Planets and Stars

  1. Australian Analogues of Mars. The Australian continent provides useful physical and geological analogues that can help us understand the processes that shaped the surface of Mars. Geological and geomorphological analyses of martian and Australian landscapes, descriptions of analogue field programs, and developments in robotic exploration and analysis would be especially suitable.
  2. Planetary Systems and Habitability. These sessions seek to present an integrated view of the formation and early evolution of planets and related bodies. We invite presentations that use geochemical or geophysical data, numerical models, or interpretation of mission datasets to clarify the structure and temporal evolution of nebular disks, planet formation and early differentiation, volcanism, tectonism, surface processes, and planetary atmospheres. Contributions that examine the astonishing diversity of planets, including rocky bodies, gas and ice giants, comets, meteorites, and exoplanets, and fundamental aspects of habitability are welcome.
  3. The Impact of Impacts. Australia has some of the most ancient crust on Earth, where meteoritic impacts have left their marks throughout its history. Descriptions and models of impact crater morphologies, the impact process, and the effects of impacts on planetary environments are invited.
  4. Planetary Science and Education. This session seeks to raise the awareness of planetary science as a vehicle for science education, and to link with other education sessions at the conference. Open sessions that include workshop activities will be considered.

Abstract Deadline extended: 29 January 2010