Coordinating Research on Life in Extreme Environments in Europe: The CAREX Project

CAREX (Coordination Action for Research Activities on life in Extreme Environments) is a Coordination project funded by the European Commission. This project tackles the issues of enhancing coordination of research on life in extreme environments in Europe by i) developing a strategic European research agenda in the field and ii) providing networking and exchange of knowledge opportunities to the scientific community.

CAREX is a truly interdisciplinary initiative as its approach to life in extreme environment covers microorganisms, plants and animals evolving in various marine, polar, terrestrial extreme environments as well as outer space.

In order to achieve its objectives, CAREX work program has been developed around four lines of actions:

Scientific Priority setting

CAREX's high level scientific workshops addressed the issues of Model Ecosystems (November 2008), Technology and Infrastructures (December 2008) and Model Organisms (June 2009). The main outcomes and findings from these events are being integrated into a European roadmap for research on life in extreme environments (available in December 2010) Databases

CAREX website hosts an open searchable directory of international experts, a database of life in extreme environments research projects and a portfolio of specific infrastructures and technologies. Exchange of Knowledge

Through the organisation of field trips, a laboratory seminar, a summer school and the award of short visit grants, CAREX catalyses the transfer of knowledge and exchange of best practices among the scientific community and towards young researchers.

Information Hub

CAREX website provides an interactive platform for the exchange of information, job and funding opportunities, news and events specific to life in extreme environment research. Website address for further information: www.carex-eu.org

Please follow Astrobiology on Twitter.


  • submit to reddit