Hello fellow astrobiologists,

I'm looking to do a little crowd sourcing here. If you were to teach a seminar on astrobiology, what sorts of papers do you think should be included? I'm looking for papers that you might consider seminal to the field, and that would also be good for student discussion-- this could include original research papers, review papers, papers that spur debate, big advancements in the field, and so on. I'm also looking for a wide range of topics, ranging from exoplanets and biosignatures to the origin of life to the early evolution of life to the evoluiton of Earth and its atmosphere, etc.

Hoping this thread can be useful to others looking to do something similar!


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Hi Rika ,

i think one in your list could be the recent paper on bacterial strain GFAJ-1 which was claimed to have the ability to subsitute arsenic for a small percentage of its phosphorus and sustain its growth.


This paper could be useful when you discuss "Hypothetical types of biochemistry" in life forms on other planets.


This is a great thread Rika, here are some suggestions with a, perhaps, geology bias :)

Catling, David C., Kevin J. Zahnle, and Christopher P. McKay. "Biogenic methane, hydrogen escape, and the irreversible oxidation of early Earth."Science 293.5531 (2001): 839-843.

Baross, John A., and Sarah E. Hoffman. "Submarine hydrothermal vents and associated gradient environments as sites for the origin and evolution of life."Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 15.4 (1985): 327-345.

Kasting, James F., and Janet L. Siefert. "Life and the evolution of Earth's atmosphere." Science 296.5570 (2002): 1066-1068.

Hazen, Robert M., et al. "Mineral evolution." American Mineralogist 93.11-12 (2008): 1693-1720.

Mayor, Michel, and Didier Queloz. "A Jupiter-mass companion to a solar-type star." Nature 378.6555 (1995): 355-359.

Canfield, D. E. "A new model for Proterozoic ocean chemistry." Nature 396.6710 (1998): 450-453.


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