The lecture will survey the Solar System for other possible habitats for life. It will discuss how organisms could have adapted to environmental niches on Mars, Venus, Titan, and the icy moons of the outer solar system. Some of the niche environments on these planetary bodies may serve as a possible habitat for life, but would require extreme adaptations and exotic life styles for organisms that live there. The lecture will also discuss some newly discovered exoplanets that might serve as localities for life. Finally, the lecture will consider some of the more controversial solutions to the Fermi Paradox: if life is abundant in the universe, why haven't other forms of intelligent life become known to us.
Dirk Schulze-Makuch is a Professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University and Guest Professor at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany. He also has an appointment as Adjunct Professor at the Beyond Center at Arizona State University. He earned a Diplom in Geology at Justus Liebig University and a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He worked at Envirogen, had his first faculty appointment at the University of Texas at El Paso, and was a faculty fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center before joining the faculty at the Washington State University. He also has been affiliated with the University of Vienna, Austria and the German AeroSpace Center (DLR) in Berlin. Among other awards, Dirk received the Friedrich Wilhelm Award from the Humboldt Foundation, for extraordinary achievements in the field of exobiology. He is an author on more than one hundred scientific publications on planetary habitability and astrobiology, and he is an author of two science texts, including the astrobiology primer ôLife in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints", three popular books on science and two science fiction novels. He is a familiar media figures as well, having appeared in documentaries on National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, NHK-TV (Japan) and ARD (Germany).