Our group is developing analytical approaches for Raman spectroscopy applications to the fields of exobiology, geobiology and microbiology.
Exobiology is an emerging area of planetary science where the search for Life is a major task. Up until now, a few planets (Mars) and satellites (Europa, Titan, Enceladus) of the Solar system have been suggested as major targets of Space agencies and researchers.
A plethora of approaches were proposed to answer the basic question of exobiology: ‘Was there/Is there Life outside Earth?’
One of the frequently suggested concepts/strategies consists of searching for biomolecules in the frame of the surface/subsurface of the extraterrestrial targets. Any positive detection of an organic remnant known to only be produced by organisms on Earth (biomarker), would represent a positive indication for preexisting or even current biological activity. In fact, the search and studies of biomarkers represent today a primary challenge for exobiology today.
Alpine snow field with a snow algae colonisation rich in pigment astaxanthin