29 September 2015
Where there is water, there is life.
Archived: In the Media
31 August 2015
Mutant Silurian plankton indicate oceanic anoxia spread and metals poisoning in the sea ... 420 million years ago. Not scifi but real life research pinpointing onset of global extinctions. Listen to radio interview of Professor Kathleen A. Campbell discussing these new research findings on Radio NZ's Checkpoint programme.
Archived: In the Media
7 July 2015
This is why I came so far. To see some of the oldest rocks on Earth, preserved within an extremely ancient remnant of a continental "core", or craton in geological parlance, revealing the rocks of my field trip to be as old as 3.48 billion - that's 3,480,000,000 - years before present. Cratons are the formative kernels, or foundational building blocks of the continents, whispering their stories about the early evolution of our planet to those who are listening. What is extra special about the rocks of the east Pilbara craton is that they contain sedimentary sequences formed in the lulls between voluminous volcanic eruptions which archive the earliest signs of life found so far on Earth. The shocker is that life was already diverse and surprisingly abundant by this time, so very long ago, hinting at a much earlier but now obscured history. So there aren't really very many other places on Earth where one can peer into "Deep Time" to get a picture of how and where life was taking took hold, let alone to see what it looked like.
Archived: Blog | People of Astrobiology
3 June 2015
We argue that, even though New Zealand is a small nation, our scientists cannot aim too high nor stretch too far. We should make the most of the special opportunities NZ has to offer, and steer towards new fields or methods of research when opportunities or needs arise. We describe our own efforts over 20 years to pioneer new directions in NZ on an astronomical project named MOA and a geological project on NZ hot-springs. The former project seeks to find habitable planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way. The latter seeks to understand how life arose on planets such as Earth and Mars in the first few billion years following their formation. Both projects attract international support and the participation of our ablest university students.
Archived: Education and Outreach | NZ & Astrobiology Research