15 Dec 2019

Experts in astrobiology and microbial evolution discuss the origin of life with Kim Hill

From Smart Talk, 4:06 pm on 15 December 2019
Earth in space

Photo: abidal/123RF

Four experts gather to consider how life began, and how we define what it is. Sharing current research and exploring the impact of examining the topic through different disciplinary and intercultural lenses, the group discusses life on Mars, life which exists on Earth in extremely hostile conditions, microbial evolution, and the significance of matauranga Māori. This lively discussion recorded at the University of Auckland is hosted by Kim Hill.

About the speakers

Prof. Maria-Paz Zorzano

Prof. Maria-Paz Zorzano Photo: Luleå University of Technology

Prof. Maria-Paz Zorzano from the Astrobiology Center of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology is leading a Mars atmospheric measurements project to help us understand the changing Martian climate. Once, we know, it had a thicker atmosphere, running water and active volcanoes.

Prof. Kathy Campbell

Prof. Kathy Campbell Photo: University of Auckland

Prof. Kathy Campbell is an astrobiologist from the University of Auckland’s School of Environment and Te Ao Mārama, the Centre for Fundamental Inquiry whose research explores some of most inhospitable places on Earth to help us understand equally inhospitable environments on other planets.

Dr Heather Hendrickson

Dr Heather Hendrickson Photo: Massey University

Dr Heather Hendrickson from Massey University is a research scientist studying microbial evolution and organisms that lie at the borderline between complex chemistry and life.

Dr Dan Hikuroa

Dr Dan Hikuroa Photo: RNZ / Paul Bushnell

Dr Dan Hikuroa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui, Te Arawa) from the University of Auckland is an Earth Systems Scientist who is a leading expert on integrating mātauranga Māori and science.

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Photo: University of Auckland

This session was recorded by RNZ in association with the University of Auckland