Product has been added to the basket
Item has been added to bibliography

Habitats beyond Earth

18 - 21 October 2021
Add to my calendar
Event type:
Conference, Virtual event
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, 2021 Year of Space
Virtual event
Event status:

Astrobiology Society of Britain virtual conference “Habitats beyond Earth” will bring members of the geology, astrobiology & geobiology, astrochemistry & geochemistry, planetary atmospheres, physics, astronomy, remote-sensing, and exoplanet science communities together to explore the environmental factors necessary for supporting life on early Earth and on other planets.

We aim to encourage discussion and collaboration between attendees from different disciplines, therefore, the conference has three main themes:

Theme 1: How to discover (and characterise) candidate planets or moons

Space and ground-based instruments allow scientists to probe the atmospheres and surfaces of potentially habitable exoplanets and document their properties. This theme will invite discussion of exoplanetary observation techniques, our current understanding of exoplanetary biosignatures, how exoplanets are classified in terms of their habitability, and more. Involves the disciplines of cosmochemistry, astronomy, astrophysics, exoplanetary science.

Theme 2: How to build a habitable environment

Understanding Earth’s biosphere is key in the search for life elsewhere. This theme will explore the combination of factors that allowed life to develop on early Earth and if similar conditions or processes could take place on other planetary bodies. It will cover experimental techniques, analogue studies, meteoritics, and more. Involves the disciplines of astrochemistry & geochemistry, geology, astrobiology & geobiology.

Theme 3: Current missions and the search for life

This theme will encourage discussion of current and future surface exploration missions to planetary bodies. We invite new results from active Mars missions (NASA MSL, Insight) and discussion of instruments and mission preparatory studies (NASA Mars2020, ESA ExoMars 2022, NASA Dragonfly, NASA + ESA Mars sample return). Involves the fields of geology, remote-sensing, planetary science, astrobiology & geobiology, astrochemistry & geochemistry, engineering.

Public Events

An “Astrobiology in Literature” event will be hosted by The St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science (StACES). At the time of registration, attendees are invited submit the name of their favourite science-fiction book. The panel will preselect several entries and discuss how scientifically realistic each fictional environment/setting is for hosting the life described in the book while taking questions.

Habitats beyond Earth will also livestream a virtual fieldtrip to showcase Scottish geology – attendees and members of the public with an interest in geology are welcome to attend.


Registration for this conference will open 9.00 BST on 3 May 2021 and closes 5.00 BST on 17 October 2021.

Registration Rates

General admission: £10, includes 1 years’ membership* to the Astrobiology Society of Britain. *Subject to approval by the membership committee

Abstract Submission

We invite oral and poster abstract submissions for this meeting from UK and international attendees. Abstract submission opens 9.00 BST 3 May 2021 and closes 17.00 BST 3 September 2021. Abstracts should contain a maximum of 400 words, please fill out this form.

Please indicate at abstract submission if you would like to be considered for the Early Career Researcher Keynote Prize. The winning entry will be awarded a keynote talk at the conference. You are eligible to apply for this prize if you do not yet hold a full-time, permanent academic post.

If you are not certain your research area fits within the conference themes, please email the convenor contact who will be happy to advise you.


This conference will be virtual.


Please contact with any enquiries.

Convenor contact:

Dr. Claire Cousins,

Register now

Registration rates

£ 10.00

Geolsoc Contact

Conference Office

The Geological Society
Burlington House