EANA 2021
07 Sep, 14:00 CEST – 10 Sep, 18:00 CEST
Online event

EANA 2021 - Welcome

The European Astrobiology Network association (EANA) celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In addition to this landmark, Portugal was going to be the host country of an EANA meeting for the first time. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the EANA meeting will be online, but we will certainly have plenty of reasons to celebrate and have an exciting event!

To start with, and although not able to travel to the beautiful country of Portugal, you may virtually visit Portuguese Museums and Palaces (please check the "Virtual Portuguese Museums" Section). 

The virtual EANA 2021 meeting will connect the international Astrobiology community, with an exciting and interactive programme for four half days from September 7-10, 2021 (2pm to 6pm (CET) every day). Registration is free of charge. The virtual meeting consists of invited keynote presentations, several oral presentations (abstracts to be submitted by the participants, free of charge), our well-known Space Factor student contest, as well as poster presentations. EANA 2021 is organized by the EANA 2021 LOC and the EANA Executive Board. For any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us via eana-web (at) eana-net.eu.

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Deadline September 6, 2021

The registration is free of charge. By participating in the EANA 2021 meeting, you agree to follow the Code of Conduct.


Abstract Submission

Deadline July 9, 2021

The abstract submission is free of charge.
This is now closed.




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All times are Central European Time (CET)

Black and White Star in Circle

Tuesday, 07/09/2021


Welcoming Words 

Zita Martins (LOC)

Barbara Cavalazzi (EANA President)
André Brack (First EANA President)

14h30 - 15h15


David Ehrenreich

Session: Venus and Mars

15h15 - 15h30

João A. Dias  

Detection and limits of detection of minor chemical species in Solar System's atmospheres

15h30 - 15h45

John Robert Brucato 

Challenges to detect organics on Mars

15h45 - 16h15

Break (Social gathering)


Session: Early Earth and habitability

16h15 - 16h30

Stewart Gault 

Can perchlorate brines expand the lower temperature limit for life?

16h30 - 16h45

              Kensei Kobayashi                 

The Role of Solar Energetic Particles in Habitability of the early Earth: Experimental approach

16h45 - 17h00

Annemiek C. Waajen

How the presence of meteorites could have shaped microbial communities on early Earth

17h00 - 18h00

First poster session

1)     Jacobo Aguirre        

NetWorld: A computational environment to simulate the prebiotic chemistry in the interstellar medium

2)     V. M. Rivilla 

Discovery in space of ethanolamine, the simplest phospholipid head group

3)     Cristina Pérez-Fernández               

Generation of pre-RNA nucleobases under plausible prebiotic alkaline hydrothermal conditions  

4)     Surendra Vikram Singh        

Hypervelocity impact-induced formation of crystalline biomolecular dust - Implications to the impacts on icy moons

5)     Mahendran Sithamparam

Combinatorial Polymeric Gels for Panspermia

6)     Santos Galvez Martinez       

Ar+ ion bombardment drives molecular reactivity on pyrite mineral surface

7)     Eduardo J. Cueto Díaz

CO2 adsorption capacities in amine-functionalized microporous silica nanoparticles

8)     Tetyana Milojevic                

Chemolithotrophy on the Noachian Martian breccia NWA 7034 via experimental microbial biotransformation

9)     Tommaso Zaccaria   

Assessment of the adaptability of non-fastidious pathogenic bacteria to the Martian environment

10)   Eduardo Battaner

An astronomical framework for the evolution of living beings

11) Terry Kee      

What Isn't Life? On the Search for a Generalised Model of Living

12) Bernardo Barosa       

At the dawn of metabolism- How Aquificae can shed light into the evolution of carbon fixation and hydrogen oxidation

13) Silvana Pinna

Preferential formation of ATP from acetyl phosphate and ferric iron

Wednesday, 08/09/2021

14h00 - 14h45


Nathalie Carrasco

Titan's atmosphere, an endogeneous source of prebiotic molecules in the outer solar system

Session: Origin and evolution of life

14h45 - 15h00

Omer Duhan Toparlak                      

Stable and dynamic model protocells on the early Earth

15h00 - 15h15

Vladimir Kompanichenko      

Stimulating the Origin-of-Life Process by Physicochemical Oscillations in Hydrothermal Environments

15h15 - 15h30

Guillaume Pillot         

Spark of Life: Role of electrotrophy in the emergence of Life

Session: History, social sciences, outreach and education

15h30 - 15h45

Sohan Jheeta

NoRCEL and its Outreach in Sub Saharan Africa

15h45 - 16h15

Break (Social gathering)


16h15 - 18h00

Space Factor Contest

Thursday, 09/09/2021

14h00 - 14h45


Manish Patel

Exploration of Mars from above and below

Session: Planetary analog research and extreme conditions on Earth

14h45 - 15h00

Kristina Beblo-Vranesevic     

From Mars analogue environments to space: ground data evaluation of the survivability of Buttiauxella sp. MASE-IM-9 and Salinisphaera shabanensis

15h00 - 15h15

Laura Sánchez-García          

Molecular and isotopic biosignatures in hydrothermal silica from El Tatio geysers field (Chile) as analogues for the search for life in sinter deposits on Mars

15h15 - 15h45

Break (Social gathering)


15h45 - 17h15

Second poster session

1)     Sohan Jheeta 

Where were the molecules of life made?

2)     Kotsyurbenko O.R.   

Scientific and philosophical foundations of Russian astrobiology, its main directions and integration into world astrobiology

3)     José M. Martínez      

Life at low water activity in the chaotropic Salar de Uyuni

4)     R. de la Torre Noetzel          

Lichens as ideal models for astrobiological studies: limits of life at extraterrestrial conditions

5)     Rosangela Addesso   

Cave vermiculations, life hotspots for studies of hypogean microbiology

6)     Ophelia Gunn

Could Fluid Inclusions in Polar Ice Provide a Sanctuary for Martian Microorganisms?

7)     Barbara Cavalazzi     

Oldest methane-metabolising microfossils, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa

8)     Alex Ellery    

When is a cybersignature is a biosignature is a technosignature is a cybersignature?

9)     García-Descalzo L.               

Lipid profiles in cold brines as potential biomarkers

10) Vera Palma   

Assessment of lipid biomarkers from Mars analogue subsurface environments

11) Yongda Li     

A simple approach for the detection of microorganisms on Martian soil simulants

12) H. A. Stavrakakis  

A review of Martian Regolith and Soil Simulants: applicability and characterisation

13) Christian Lorenz       

Survival of Xanthoria parietina in simulated space conditions: spectroscopic analysis and vitality assessment

14) Karlis Arturs Moors   

Proteomic response of Deinococcus radiodurans to short-term real microgravity during parabolic flight

15) Mukesh Chiman Bhatt          

Action at a distance: Living Matter and Human Law in Outer Space

16) Caroline Brachmann 

Modelling the composition of volcanic gases on young terrestrial planets in the C-H-O-N-S system

17) Vardan Adibekyan    

The Chemical link between stars and their rocky planets

18) René Heller   

Discoveries of Earth-like transiting planets expected from the PLATO space mission

19) Oliver Herbort          

From clouds to crust - stability of water in the crust and clouds of rocky exoplanets

20) Enrique Sanchis        

Effects of tidal heating in Proxima Centauri b's thermal evolution

17h15 - 18h00

Social event

20th EANA Anniversary + University students (Tuna Universitária Porto)

Friday, 10/09/2021



Frances Westall

Biosignatures: lessons from the martian meteorite ALH84001

Session: Space biology and extremophiles

14h45 - 15h00

Luciene Coelho         

Astrovirology: a tale about (extra)terrestrial life origins

15h00 - 15h15

Mariano Battistuzzi  

Is Far-Red Light Photoacclimation activated in cyanobacteria exposed to an M-dwarf light simulated spectrum?

15h15 - 15h30

Rosa Santomartino   

Microbial interaction with terrestrial and extraterrestrial rocks on the International Space Station

15h30 - 15h45

Marta Cortesão         

Mold, you’re indestructible! Aspergillus niger in space habitats

15h45 - 16h15

F. Da Pieve    

Prospects for interdisciplinary efforts in the study of survival of biomolecules under space radiation in planetary/small bodies science

16h15 - 16h30

Break (Social gathering)


Session: Exoplanets and exomoons

16h30 - 16h45

Russell Deitrick

Sequestration of Volatiles on Tidally-Locked Planets

16h45 - 17h00

Iva Vilović

Laboratory Studies to Test Hypotheses of Superhabitable Exoplanets

17h00 - 17h15

Lena Noack

Can plate tectonics lead to observational traces in (exo-)planetary atmospheres?

17h15 - 17h30

Nuno C. Santos

Finding the lowest mass planets with ESPRESSO

17h30 - 17h45

Award Ceremony

Space Factor contest and poster contest

17h45 - 18h00

Closing Words

Barbara Cavalazzi (EANA President)


Invited Keynote Speakers


Nathalie Carrasco

Titan's atmosphere, an endogeneous source of prebiotic molecules in the outer solar system
(University of Versailles Saint Quentin, Laboratoire atmosphères, milieux, Observations Spaciales (LATMOS))


Frances Westall

Biosignatures: lessons from the martian meteorite ALH84001

(CNRS-Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, Orléans, France)

David Ehrenreich.jpg

David Ehrenreich

(Département d’astronomie, Observatoire Université de Genève)

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Manish Patel

Exploration of Mars from above and below
(Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics,

School of Physical Sciences, Open University; and Rutherford Appleton Space Laboratory)


Instructions on How to Prepare a Virtual Poster

How do I Prepare a Virtual Poster?

Please go here, “Log in to EANA 2021”, and submit an abstract until July 9, 2021.

If you requested a poster presentation, or your abstract was not selected as oral by the LOC, you will need to prepare a PDF poster presentation. These presentations can either be in the classical, static poster layout preferentially in landscape format (please use large font sizes to allow viewing the poster on a standard computer screen) or can be interactive PDF presentations (similar to the PICO format at EGU conferences; using either hyperlinks in a power-point presentation and saving the presentations as PDF; or adding links to different slides with Acrobat Reader or similar software). An interactive example presentation will be provided before poster submission deadline.


Instructions on How to Vote on the Virtual Poster Session

How do I ask questions and vote on the  Virtual Poster Sessions?

You may find the instructions here.

After that please go here and “Log in to EANA 2021”.


Awards and Sponsors

Under construction.

Space Factor Student Contest

1st place 200EUR (sponsored by Agência Espacial Portuguesa – Portugal Space)

2nd place 150 EUR (sponsored by Agência Espacial Portuguesa – Portugal Space)

3rd place 100 EUR (sponsored by Agência Espacial Portuguesa – Portugal Space)

All top 3 winners will receive Medals (sponsored by Agência Espacial Portuguesa – Portugal Space), books (sponsored by Springer), and certificates.

Poster Award

All winners will receive books (sponsored by Springer), and certificates. The top 3 winners will receive an online subscription to the 2022 volume of Astrobiology.

EANA 20th Anniversary Presentation Award

3 medals for the top 3 presentations from any speaker of the EANA 2021 conference (sponsored by UNICAM SISTEMAS ANALÍTICOS), and certificates.

EANA 20th Anniversary Outstanding Paper Award

The award is composed of a certificate and a prize money. The prize money will be handed out to the first author, whereby the certificate will contain the names of all authors and will be send to all of them. More details here.


Space Factor Student Contest

Are you a student or early career scientist?
EANA encourages you to apply for the Space Factor student contest!

This contest is a great opportunity for you to present your research to the European Astrobiology community. It gives you the chance to get to know other students in the field; to gain new insights and ideas; to establish new contacts and cooperation; and to develop your own astrobiology network.

How will the contest be organized?
This year the contest will happen virtually on the September 8, 2021.

Around 10 selected students will contribute with a pre-recorded presentation (8 min each), which will be streamed live to the registered participants. A judge panel consisting of ~5 interdisciplinary experts will evaluate the contributions of all participating students according to pre-established criteria (e.g. communication skills, quality of research, etc.). Award certificates and monetary prizes will be granted by EANA to the 3 best presentations. The winner presentations can be made publicly available on the EANA website upon agreement with the authors.

Who can apply?
Master students in their last year (with a thesis/project), PhD students, and first-year Post-Docs, from all fields covering astrobiology and space-related sciences, are welcome to apply.

How should your contribution to Space Factor be?

Research content and scientific accuracy have to be there, but instead of being limited by formal PowerPoint presentations, the Space Factor invites you to let your creativity out! Think outside the box, and take the opportunity to practice your science communication skills. Prepare a video that can be used and shared beyond EANA and Space Factor. Think about communicating your research to a wider, multi-disciplinary, audience, think about the message you want to get across, and most importantly – have fun!

You can check the videos of Space Factor 2020 here.

Use them as inspiration, and notice that their styles are very different from each other. So, keep in mind that you do not have to do the “same” type of video. The key here is to be original: present us your own research in your own style.

How to apply?

  • Register in the EANA platform

  • Submit an abstract of your research via the EANA platform  form until July 9, 2021.

  • Send us a short video (max. 1 min). In this video present yourself and your research and why you want to participate in the Space Factor contest. Keep in mind, this 1-min video should show your communication and creative skills. We are not looking for a formal video, but rather a fun and creative one! Always keeping in mind the research content, of course.

Send the 1-minute video to student-contest (at) eana-net.eu until July 18, 2021. Please use a file-transfer platform (e.g. dropbox, gigamove, wetransfer, google drive, etc.).

Based on this 1 min-video, around 10 students will be selected to contribute with a pre-recorded presentation (8 minutes each), which will be streamed live to the registered participants of EANA 2021 on September 8, 2021.

For questions regarding the contest please contact the Space Factor student contest organizer Marta Cortesão (marcortesao (at) gmail.com or student-contest (at) eana-net.eu).

Space Factor Deadlines

  • July 9, 2021: Deadline for Space Factor application (abstract submission)

  • July 18, 2021: Deadline to send 1-min video.

  • July 24, 2021: Information on Space Factor selection of the top 10 selected students to give a 8 min talk.

  • August 29, 2021: Final video deadline for the around 10 Space Factor selected participants (8 minutes video) – send to student-contest (at) eana-net.eu and to marcortesao (at) gmail.com using a file-transfer platform (e.g. dropbox, gigamove, wetransfer, google drive, etc.)



While the world is still fighting against the COVID pandemic, the AbGradE committee has already started organizing the next meeting. Due to the still unpredictable situation and the great success of last year’s meeting, we have decided to go again for an online-only “Virtual AbGradE 2021”. It will take place on September 2-3, 2021, i.e. the week before EANA 2021.

The AbGradE meeting will include keynote speakers, contributed talks and posters. “Virtual AbGradE 2021” will be a chance to show that the Astrobiology research family is still vibrant and motivated despite the COVID‑19 pandemic. This meeting should give early career Astrobiologists the chance to get a glimpse into the scientific world and to present their work in front of a friendly audience of peers.

We hope that the virtual nature of this meeting will allow many of our colleagues from around the world to join. Abstract submission is open until July 23, registration until August 31. To register, please follow this link. Detailed information about the abstract submission process (including a template) will be sent out via email after registration (not before end of April). When setting up the schedule for the meeting, we will keep in mind that our attendees and speakers will be situated in different time zones. All registered participants will receive an e-mail with the login data in due time (at the latest 1-2 days before the meeting).

If you have any questions, please feel free to write an e-mail to abgrade(at)eana-net.eu. In addition, please check our Facebook and Twitter  pages for any news and updates related to the meeting.

We very much hope that you will be able to join us in cyberspace for “Virtual AbGradE 2021”!

Your AbGradE Committee




Local Organizing Committee

Get to Know Us


Zita Martins 

Associate Professor
(CQE, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal)


Nuno Santos

Assistant Professor
(IA, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)


Jorge Gameiro

Assistant Professor
(IA, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)


José Afonso

(IA, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)


Pedro Machado

(IA, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)

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Ana Zélia Miller

(Universidade de Évora, Portugal)


Igor Tiago

(Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)


Susana Direito

University of Edinburgh (UK)

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Marta Cortesão

PhD student
Aerospace Microbiology, German Aerospace Center (DLR)


Scientific Organizing Committee

Get to Know Us

Barbara Cavalazzi

André Brack

Daniela Billi

Elias Chatzitheodoridis

Frances Westall

Frederic Foucher

Keyron Hickman-Lewis

Lena Noack

Rosa de la Torre

Ruth-Sophie Taubner