The OI and Astrobiology
The OI has established a new collaborative graduate program in astrobiology. In a collaborative program, students are accepted by and register in a home department or school and graduate with a degree in that field (the list of 5 participating departments is provided below).
- Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
- Department of Biology
- Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
- Department of Physics and Astronomy
- School of Geography and Earth Sciences
The Astrobiology portion is carried out by the OI in close collaboration with the 5 home departments. Some course work and research seminars in astrobiology (see below), as well as Astrobiological research, lie at the heart of the program. Successful completion of the program will provide students an 'Astrobiology Specialization' to complement their home degree, and graduates will be qualified to pursue further research and work in the field.
The OI has established an excellent research and education environment in astrobiology that dates to 2005, with its first international conference-workshop, "Astrobiology and the Origins of Life". Most OI members who are interested in astrobiology already have close contact with one another, through collaboration in research and education, as well as research collaborations with national and international communities. We are members of the NSERC Canadian Astrobiology Training Program (CATP) and are linked to the NASA National Astrobiology Institute (NAI) through a Canadian network.
Faculty members for the program are either core or adjunct members in the 5 departments, which are in the Faculties of Science and Health Sciences at McMaster University.