Astrochemistry Discussions

Prebiotic Chemistry Day

Wednesday 30 March, 2022

Danielle Simkus

NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center

Searching for Amino Acids and their Chemical Precursors through Laboratory Analyses of Meteorites

Cornelia Meinert


Life’s Origin Among the Stars: Detection & Symmetry Characterization of Interstellar Chiral Molecules

Brendan Moore

University of British Columbia

UV Photolysis of Amino Acids in a Solid Parahydrogen Matrix


Opportunities for students, postdocs, and researchers sent to us by attendees.
We don't have any more information on these - we just post 'em if you send 'em!

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Applications are now open for a 2.5 year postdoctoral position in astrochemistry in the Ennis workgroup. Open to New Zealand and international candidates, the position is linked to our successful Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund project to explore the formation, structure and UV/particle processing of molecular co-crystals under Titan conditions. The work aims to answer if essential biological building blocks reside within Titan’s environment, in anticipation of NASA/Johns Hopkins Dragonfly that will search for these compounds.

The postdoc will be based at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, supervised by Dr Courtney Ennis ( However, the Marsden project is an international collaboration with team members in Australia (Dr Helen Maynard-Casely at ANSTO) and the U.S. (Dr Morgan Cable and Dr Robert Hodyss at NASA JPL).

The successful candidate will hold a PhD in laboratory astrochemistry or (molecular/chemical) physics or a related discipline. For further information and to apply please follow the position description link ( or contact Courtney (courtney.ennis at to discuss any details. Applications close Monday 2 May, 2022.

Harnack Haus, Berlin (03.10-07.10, 2022)

In 2015, we gathered at the Harnack Haus in Berlin to discuss about star and planet formation and the crucial role played by Astrochemistry in our understanding of the various steps that transform an interstellar cloud in stellar systems like our own. It is now time to meet again and present the exciting results that have been achieved in recent years, thanks to ALMA, IRAM, JVLA, GBT, APEX, SOFIA and other facilities, as well as thanks to coordinated efforts in the laboratory and theory (in particular, quantum chemistry and chemical-dynamical models of evolving clouds and disks). This will be important to cast a fresh look into the future, which we already know is going to be bright, thanks to revolutionary telescopes coming up in the near future (such as JWST and ELT) and next decades (SKA and ngVLA).

During the conference, we will make a journey through space and time, starting from interstellar clouds and then moving to cloud filaments and dense cores on the verge of star formation, to protostars and their embedded disks, to planet-forming disks to exoplanet and finally landing in our Solar System, while delving into laboratory facilities and theoretical calculations and simulations. Each evening, before dinner, there will be a general talk on each topic of the conference (the “aperitive talk”), to allow all communities to understand better the “big picture” and to facilitate finding links across disciplines, which always provide fertile ground in our journey towards understanding our astrochemical origins.

Students and young researchers will be encouraged to attend and interact with all participants, to present their work and broaden their horizons. Some financial help will be available for them upon request.

The total number of participants is limited to less than or equal to 120.

Please pre-register if you are interested in attending.