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If the idea of life on other planets interests your students and if they are fascinated by the origins of life on Earth, the career of Astrobiologist might be the right choice. They are space explorers, spending a lot of times in laboratories, testing, and recording the lifecycle of bacteria that can survive in harsh conditions. But not only that! As experts in biology and astronomy, they even looking at fossils of the earliest life forms and trying to deduce how they arrived on Earth. How fascinating! So, if your students are curious about the evidence of life and understanding the potential life on different planets, scroll down and discover more about their future career path!

Interview for the EU Space Awareness Career Hub with Karen Olsson-Francis, Astrobiologist.


Find out about the key skills to become Astrobiologist.


Astrobiology as an interdisciplinary field is not exactly a walk in the park. People working as astrobiologists are known to be self-disciplined and persistent as they need to keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.


Being an astrobiologist not only means having a comprehensive, integrated
understanding of biological, planetary, and cosmic phenomena, but also being an outside the box thinker who uses their creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.


Astrobiologist studies the possibility of life beyond Earth, that is why it is important for them to be open to change and discovery and think variety is the spice of life.


In order to find out if life can exist in other worlds, astrobiologists spend a lot of time in laboratories, testing and recording the lifecycle of bacteria, and even looking at fossils of the earliest life forms and trying to deduce how they arrived on Earth.

Data Presentation

Once the research is over, astrobiologists need to gather in a comprehensive way the observations and data collected so that their work is accessible to their peers who might be interested in discovering or complete the research.


Astrobiologists are space explorers, experts in biology and astronomy. They are driven by the curiosity to find out if life can exist on other planets.

Meet Karen Olsson-Francis

Karen Olsson-Francis is a UK Space Agency Aurora fellow and University lecturer at The Open University. She is interested in studying life in extreme environments and understanding the limits of habitability. These environments are used as analogues for study potential habitable environments beyond the Earth. Karen was awarded a PhD fellowship in New Zealand, where she studied extreme environments. Her ambition is to develop a research group, which is scientifically excellent and is a supportive environment for students and postdocs to reach their potential.

CC BY 4.0: all the materials and content presented on this STEM Job profile have been provided by Space Awareness, a project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement nº 63865.


Vanessa James

I am a communication coordinator in the Science Education Department of European Schoolnet (EUN). Holding a BA degree in Public relations and digital communications, I am passionate about graphic design, photography, web development and content management.