Dr Maria Cullen

Lecture – 7:30pm Weds 4th November – Dr Maria Cullen – “Anazoeing Mars”

Anazoeing Mars – the revitalisation, or re-lifeing, of a planet. Ana- = re- and zoe = all life; Anazoeing – a Greek-based term to describe the act of bringing Mars back to life, based on its own biota, through tending it to ameliorate the potential for human occupation of Mars into the future. Mars today presents a very hostile suite of environments for humans. As we grow in our understanding of Earth we realise that certain forms of life can exist in challenging places and can adapt to these settings in diverse ways. As our knowledge of Mars improves, we begin to identify potential niches for life there. We are posing fresh questions about life itself and potential ecophysiological windows of opportunity.
With the initiation of human exploration of Mars, the building of biomes and the anazoeing of a "dead", or "mostly dead" planet, we will learn more about the fragility of life and the resilience of life, in a wider planetary setting. Technological developments, new insights and organizational advances will help us to address threats of our own making to life on our home planet.
This lecture will take stock of what we know so far about the Martian environment. It will review the proposals suggested to anazoe or re-initiate life on Mars so that humans can live and work there in increasing comfort and safety. There will be some discussion of the technological and ethical challenges involved when attempting to work with Mars-life if it currently exists or to kick-start life and to tend it in a direction that would suit us on another planet!
Maria Cullen is an Irish geomicrobiologist with a long-term interest in the requirements and potential for life in our Solar System. Her company, AlphaTaxa, is based at Dublin City University Innovation Campus. 
Doors open about 7.15pm. There is free parking available on the campus in the evenings. Admission Free, including light refreshments. We are located in the Bell Theatre, Department of Mathematics and Physics, QUB – details here……
With thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for assistance with this event.

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