About Us

Andrew Pohorille, Co-Chair
NASA Ames Research Center

John Peters, Co-Chair
Montana State University

The purpose of the NAI Origin of Life Focus Group is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers in the astrobiology community, aimed at advancing our understanding of the diverse processes that can lead to transitions from non-living to living systems. The broad, unifying themes in are: (1) self-organization and the emergence of complexity in protobiological systems, and (2) chemical, physical and geological conditions leading to the formation of life. The synthesis of these themes will lead to comprehensive scenarios for the origins of life under different environmental conditions. This, in turn, will markedly improve our criteria used to search for life beyond Earth, define habitability and recognize biosignatures. By doing so, the Focus Group can contribute to both planning and analyzing results from astrobiology-related missions and observational projects.