Our Research

Our research group, led by Prof. Dr. Dirk Schulze-Makuch deals with the Habitability of Martian Environments (HOME) an other planetary bodies like the Moon. For instance, we are interested in designing life detection techniques, e.g. by tracking the microbial motility as a universal biosignature. Another biosignature on Mars might be the detection of biosynthetic organic molecules. In the search of these substances, we have to understand how organic molecules react, alter and degrade under Martian conditions. These investigation are part of the BALMAC project. Furthermore, in the BRINES project we investigate survival strategies of halophilic microorganisms in saline environments, since salts might be one of the last refuges for potential life on Mars due to their possibility to absorb water from the atmosphere even at subzero temperatures.

Our research on the above-mentioned projects resulted in several frequently cited publications.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech