PhD student Aditya Chopra has been awarded an Australian Government Endeavour Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to continue his astrobiology and origin of life research in the United States.
Aditya will spend six months next year at the University of Hawai’i and the University of Washington investigating the elemental composition of the earliest ancestors of life forms on Earth by analysing life forms that thrive in punishingly hot and acidic environments near hydrothermal vents. The project aims to offer a new perspective on the environment where life originated approximately 4 billion years ago.
In response to the achievement, Aditya said, “I wish to thank my supervisors for their training and support during my PhD. I am delighted to receive this fellowship and have the chance to collaborate with Professors John Baross and Michael Mottl who are global leaders in the fields of the microbiology of hydrothermal vents and ocean water geochemistry.”
Aditya’s research offers exciting prospects to better understand the requirements for habitability of planets. This work will contribute towards better strategies for our search of life beyond Earth.
The Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing study, research or professional development opportunities between Australia and the world.
Aditya has also been selected by the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society as one of Australia’s delegates to the first Commonwealth Science Conference in nearly 50 years. He will also represent the Australian National University at the 2015 Global Young Scientists Summit in Singapore.
Aditya Chopra is a PhD candidate supervised by Dr Charley Lineweaver at the Planetary Science Institute (a joint initiative of RSES & RSAA at ANU). His thesis is entitled, Palaeoecophylostoichiomics: Understanding planetary habitability and the origin and evolution of life on Earth by chemical and genomic analysis of extant life and its environments.
Hear Aditya talk about his research on ABC Radio National’s The Science Show with Robyn Williams.