The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' --Isaac Asimov
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Graduate Student Assistantship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

July 29th, 2014 No Comments

to begin Spring/Summer 2015 A graduate student assistantship (M.S. or Ph.D.) is available in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Collins at the University of Alaska Fairbanks ( Contact Dr. Collins ( to discuss the position in more detail. Please include a brief description of your research interests, experience, and academic preparations. Competitive applicants will have […]

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Woohoo! Astrobiology course approved!

February 13th, 2014 2 Comments

My Astrobiology course was approved by the Provost, so next spring I will be able to offer MSL294 Astrobiology: Planets, Oceans, and Life at the University of Alaska Fairbanks!! From the syllabus— Astrobiology is the study of the origins, evolution, and future of life on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. From humble beginnings as […]

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Astrobiology Science Conference 2012

April 19th, 2012 No Comments

I’m in Atlanta, Georgia this week for AbSciCon 2012, one of my favorite scientific conferences. I’ve only missed one since my first in 2000 at NASA Ames, and over the years I’ve seen Astrobiologists evolve into a more confident, more mature community of scientists. This year I’m excited that there are more presentations on Science […]

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Guest Lectures

March 23rd, 2012 No Comments

I recently gave guest lectures in Jon Stone’s “Life in the Universe” course (2LU3) and in Paul Higgs’ “Genomes and Evolution” course (4Y03) at McMaster. For “Life in the Universe” I gave a general overview of the prospects for finding life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. For “Genomes and Evolution” I talked about […]

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Pavilion Lake and the Cariboo Plateau

July 12th, 2010 1 Comment

Salt and carbonate precipitates line the shores of “Deer” Lake, which is spotted with islands of microbial mats. We’re up at 7, skipping breakfast and congregating down at the dock to find our rubber boots and tie the canoe onto the roof of our rented SUV. Over an hour of mental exertion later (remembering forgotten […]

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