Education and Outreach

Research Associate Sought at Centro de Astrobiologia in Spain

By Keith Cowing
June 15, 2010

The Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB) is seeking an individual interested in applying for a Pre- doctoral Research Grant (Formacion de Personal Investigador del Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial program) to work on the topic, “Effects of Life on Planetary Atmospheres”.

The successful applicant will conduct research at the Centro de Astrobiologia, CSIC, located in Torrejon de Ardoz, Madrid and will work closely with researchers from International Centers like CalTech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oxford University, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

CAB is an interdisciplinary research centre associated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Detailed information about the CAB and NAI can be found at and respectively.

This work will involve the use and update of photochemical, geochemical, dynamical and radiative transfer models to study the effect of life on the atmosphere of our planet as well as its potential impact on other planetary atmospheres. The successful candidate will develop strategies for the characterization of life on spectra from planetary atmospheres. He/she will explore the evolution and limits of planetary habitability, identification of bio-signatures, and methods for the detection of life from within our Solar System and extrasolar planet spectra. As a result of this research the applicant is expected to complete a doctoral dissertation (PhD thesis).

The applicant for this PhD position should have a solid knowledge of physics and chemistry and an interest in planetary atmospheres as well as a good command of mathematics. Graduates in Theoretical, Applied Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Chemical Engineering with Physics or an equivalent diploma before August 2010 with excellent grades are expected to apply. Basic knowledge of Fortran 90 and IDL are a plus. The candidate must have good communication skills and be able report clearly in written and spoken English.

For information and applications please send detailed curriculum vitae to Dr. F. Javier Martin-Torres (e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected] ), including grades obtained in various undergraduate courses. Letters of support from at least two academic referees who can comment on your suitability for postgraduate research training would be of great value (but they are not mandatory).

You will be advised as soon as possible as to whether or not the CAB is willing to support an application by you for pursuing this research. [Source: NAI Newsletter]

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