Habitability Research

Collection of recent group publications describing the ability of extremophilic bacteria to grow in different hyperarid environments on Earth and under simulated Mars conditions, and publications reporting on understanding habitable environments .

"Microbial Hotspots in Lithic Microhabitats Inferred from DNA Fractionation and Metagenomics in the Atacama Desert",D. Schulze-Makuch, D. Lipus, F. L. Arens, M. Baqué, T. L. V. Bornemann, J.-P. deVere, M. Flury, J. Frösler, J. Heinz, Y. Hwang, S. P. Kounaves, K. Mangelsdorf, R. U. Meckenstock, M. Pannekens, A. J. Probst, J. S. Sáenz, J. Schirmack, M. Schloter, P. Schmitt-Kopplin, B. Schneider, J. Uhl, G. Vestergaard, B. Valenzuela, P. Zamorano, D. Wagner, Microorganisms 2021, 9(5), 1038. doi:10.3390/microorganisms9051038.

"Methanogenic Archaea Can Produce Methane in Deliquescence-Driven Mars Analog Environments", D. Maus, J. Heinz, J. Schirmack, A. Airo, S. P. Kounaves, D. Wagner, and D. Schulze-Makuch, Nature Sci. Rep. 2020, 10:6, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56267-4.

"Indigenous Organic-Oxidized Fluid Interactions in the Tissint Mars Meteorite", E. A. Jaramillo, S. H. Royle, M. W. Claire, S. P. Kounaves, and M. A. Sephton, Geophys. Res. Lett. 2019, 46, 3090-3098, doi:10.1029/2018GL081335.

"Survivability of 1-Chloronapthalene During Simulated Early Diagenesis: Implications for Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Detection on Mars", S. H Royle, J. Tan, S. P. Kounaves, M. A. Sephton, J. Geophys. Res., 2018, 123, 2790-2802, doi:10.1029/2018JE005711.

"Enhanced Microbial Survivability in Subzero Brines", J. Heinz, J. Schirmack, A. Airo, D. Schulze-Makuch, S. P. Kounaves, Astrobiology, 2018, 18, 1171-1180, doi:10.1089/ast.2017.1805.

"A Transitory Microbial Habitat in the Hyperarid Atacama Desert", D. Schulze-Makuch, D. Wagner, S. P. Kounaves, K. Mangelsdorfg, K. G. Devine, J-P. de Verai, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 2018, 115, 2670-2675, doi:10.1073/pnas.1714341115.

"Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin Region in Southern Morocco as an Analogue Site for Soil Geochemistry on Noachian Mars", E. A. Oberlin, M. W. Clair, and S. P. Kounaves, Astrobiology, 2018, 18, 1318-1328, doi:10.1089/ast.2016.1557.

"Deliquescence-Induced Wetting and RSL-Like Darkening of a Mars Analogue Soil Containing Various Perchlorate and Chloride Salts" J. Heinz, D. Schulze-Makuch, and S. P. Kounaves, Geophys. Res. Lett. 2016, 43, 4880–4884, doi:10.1002/2016GL068919.

"Comparison of the Phoenix Mars Lander WCL Soil Analyses with Antarctic Dry Valley Soils, Mars Meteorite EETA79001 Sawdust, and a Mars Simulant", S. T. Stroble, K. M. McElhoney, and S. P. Kounaves, Icarus, 2013, 225, 933-939, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.040.

"Effects of Extreme Cold and Aridity on Soils and Habitability: McMurdo Dry Valleys as an Analog for the Mars Phoenix Landing Site" L. K. Tamppari, R. M. Anderson, P. D. Archer Jr., S. Douglas, S. P. Kounaves, C. P. McKay, D. W. Ming, Q. Moore, J. E. Quinn, P. H. Smith, S. Stroble, A. P. Zent, Antarctic Science, 2012, 24, 211-228, doi:10.1017/S0954102011000800.

"The Oxidation-Reduction Potential of Aqueous Soil Solutions at the Mars Phoenix Landing Site" R. C. Quinn, J. D. Chittenden, S. P. Kounaves, and M. H. Hecht, Geophys. Res. Lett., 2011, 38, L14202, doi:10.1029/2011GL047671.

"Habitability of the Phoenix Landing Site" C. R. Stoker, A. Zent, D. C. Catling, S. Douglas, J. Marshall, D. Archer, B. C. Clark, S. P. Kounaves, M. Lemmon, R. C. Quinn, N. Renno, P. H. Smith, and S. Young, J. Geophys. Res., 2010, 115, E00E20, doi:10.1029/2009JE003421.

"Life on Mars may be hidden like Earth’s extremophiles" S. P. Kounaves, Nature, 2007, 449, 281.

"Microbial Detection Array (MDA) - Unambiguous Detection of Microbial Metabolic Activity in Astrobiology Applications", A. Hoehn, K. L. Lynch, J. Clawson, J. B. Freeman, J. Kapit, S. M. M. Young, S. P. Kounaves, and I. I. Brown, SAE Proceedings, ICES 2007, International Conference On Environmental Systems, Proceedings, Chicago, IL, USA, 2007SAE Document No. 2007-01-3190.

"Microbial Life Detection With Minimal Assumptions", S. P. Kounaves, R.A. Noll, M.H. Hecht, M.G.Buehler, K. Lankford, S. West, in "Instruments, Methods and Missions for Astrobiology IV", R.B.Hoover, G.L.Levin, R.P. Paepe, A.Y.Rozanov (Eds), SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 4495, 137-144, 2002.

Last Updated: 7/14/2021