Origins 2021 Online Conference

The origin and nature of life, as well as its presence beyond planet Earth, are questions that fascinate the general public and inspire scientists from many disciplines. At the Origins 2021 Online Conference: from exoplanets to ecosystems, we address these and other questions in an energizing online science event. Will you be there?

Origins 2021 Online Conference

JANUARY 27 & 28, 2021, 9.00 – 17.30 CET

The origin and nature of life, as well as its presence beyond the Earth, are questions that fascinate the general public and inspire scientists from many disciplines. In the Netherlands, research on the emergence of life and evolution is coordinated by the Origins Center. At the conference, a multidisciplinary group of scientists, including geoscientists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, chemists, physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers will update each other about recent developments in their fields. The goal is to mutually inspire one another and to start exciting new interdisciplinary collaborations. The topics of the meeting are aligned with the main research themes of the Origins Center. They are:

  • The origin of habitable planets and life
  • Predicting the evolution of life
  • Building and steering life
  • Finding extraterrestrial life
  • Life as an emergent phenomenon

Download the program in all detail

Origins 2021 Online Conference: from exoplanets to ecosystems

Conference fee: 25 euro

Inspiring one another and starting new collaborations is not obvious in an online environment. Therefore we have designed a programme that allows for ample group and private discussions.

We have invited twelve speakers whose contributions are meant to inspire discussion among the participants. The eight Origins Fellows appointed by the Origins Center will present an overview of their results. In addition we invite you to submit abstracts to present your results in a poster format, accompanied by a prerecorded one minute poster pitch. For the four contributed presentation slots we will select early career scientists based on their abstract to present their results. Our online conference environment offers the streaming of plenary talks, interactive poster sessions, and ample space for informal discussions between individual participants. We will end each day with a scientific speed dating session, where you can meet three scientists for a short introduction. The sessions will start at 9:00 and end at 17:30 CET.

Key note speakers
Ewine van Dishoeck – Leiden Observatory
Nick Lane – University College London

Marileen Dogterom – Delft University of Technology
Thijs Ettema – Wageningen University and Research
Emmanuelle Javaux – Université de Liège
Dirk Schulze-Makuch – Technical University Berlin
Alessandro Morbidelli – Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur
Erik van Nimwegen – University of Basel
Paul Rainey – Max Planck Institute Plön
Ignas Snellen – Leiden Observatory
Ricard Solé – Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Nobuto Takeuchi – University of Auckland

Download the program in all detail

Scientific Organizing Committee
Floris van der Tak (Co-chair) – SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
Inge Loes ten Kate (Co-chair) – Utrecht University
Astrid Groot – University of Amsterdam
Dennis Höning – VU University
Inga Kamp – Groningen University
Nathalie Katsonis – University of Twente
Alexander Kros – Leiden University
Liedewij Laan – Delft University of Technology
Joyce Lebbink – Erasmus University Medical Center
Roeland Merks – Leiden University
Bob Planqué – VU University
Kees Storm – Eindhoven University of Technology
Marcel Visser – Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO-KNAW)
Renske Vroomans – University of Amsterdam
Wim van Westrenen – VU University

Posters presented

On the role of extraterrestrial organics in the origin of life on Earth
Nina Kopacz

Anticipation in the Search for Biosignatures: a viewpoint
George Profitiliotis

Interstellar prebiotic soup; The building blocks of biomolecules in space
Niels Ligterink

Autocatalysis in Chemical Networks: unifications and extensions
A. Blokhuis, D. Lacostea, P. Ngheb

Lipid Micelle Origin: Evidence From Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Amit Kahana, Zoltan Palmai, Doron Lancet

Meteorites: beneficial or toxic for life on Early Earth?
Annemiek C. Waajen, R. Prescott, Charles S. Cockell

DFT-D4 Investigation of Fullerene and PAHs on (010) Forsterite Surfaces
D. Campisi, T. Lamberts, N.Y. Dzade, R. Martinazzo, I.L. ten Kate , A.G.G.M.Tielens

Geochemical conditions in hydrothermal vents to promote synthesis of biomolecules
Delfina Pereira, Andrey do N. Vieira, Martina Preiner, William F. Martin

The prebiotic conditions of post-AGB planetary systems
Dewy Peters, Floris van der Tak

Evolutionarily Successful Primordial Self-replicating Heteropolymers Were High-skew Palindromic Sequences
Hemachander Subramanian

From disks to planets: A multitude of pathways
Inga Kamp, Nader Haghighipour, Rens Waters, Michiel Min, David Jorge,
Christian Rab, Aaron Greenwood

Life Like; a rare vision on planet earth
Jos van Oijen

The origin of genes in pieces: tracing the spread of introns during eukaryogensis
Julian Vosseberg, Michelle Schinkel, Sjoerd Gremmen, Berend Snel

Preparing a novel space instrument for biomolecule identification on extraterrestrial worlds
Loraine Schwander

RNA-protein interactions in molecular life and health: a computational approach
Mark Driver and Patrick Onck

The ambivalent role of water at the origins of life
Andrey do Nascimento Vieira, Karl Kleinermanns, William F. Martin, Martina Preiner

In Vitro Selections with RNAs of Variable Length Converge on a Robust Catalytic Core
Milena Popovic, Alexander Ellingson, Theresa Chu, Chenyu Wei, Andrew Pohorille, Mark A. Ditzler

Supersized ribosomal RNA expansion segments in Asgard archaea
Petar I. Penev, Sara Fakhretaha-Aval, Vaishnavi J. Patel, Jamie J. Cannone, Robin R. Gutell, Anton S. Petrov, Loren Dean Williams, Jennifer B. Glass

Large random molecules synthesized in interstellar ice grains as micro-environments for prebiotic chemistry
Saibal Mitra

Role of hydrogen cyanide on hydrothermal scenarios: Implications in chemical evolution
Saúl A. Villafañe-Barajas, María Colín-García, Marta Ruiz Bermejo, Pedro Rayo Pizarroso

Fractionation of life-essential volatiles during planetary accretion
Sebastiaan Krijt, Tim Lichtenberg

A simple approach for the detection of microorganisms on Martian soil simulants
Yongda Li, David Collins, Konstantinos Grintzalis


27 - 28 January 2021


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