Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Life but not as we know it – search for extraterrestrial activity among St Andrews projects awarded funding

Post Thumbnail

A study furthering the search for alien life is one of three St Andrews University projects celebrating a share of £620,000 in research funding.

The Leverhulme Trust grants will also boost research drawing on the lost wisdom of Charles Darwin and a study into British imperialism in India.

Dr Claire Cousins has been awarded £195,402 to continue the search for life elsewhere in the solar system.

The senior lecturer in Earth sciences will investigate living microorganisms trapped within salt deposits that have been collected from an Arctic spring which has a similar chemistry to Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa.

Dr Claire Cousins.

The study will explore the possibility of searching for evidence of life in Europa’s crust using a landed space probe.

Dr Cousins will work with St Andrews colleagues Dr Aubrey Zerkle and Dr Mark Fox-Powell, as well as academics from Glasgow University andthe NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, USA.

Professor Anne Magurran.

Another St Andrews professor Anne Magurran will delve into the insights of Victorian naturalists including Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and Henry Walter Bates.

Working with Dr Maria Dornelas from St Andrews and using a biodiversity database cataloguing changes in nearly 400 ecosystems around the globe, she will look at how biodiversity has changed during the Anthropocene –  the era coinciding with significant human impact on ecosystems.

Prof Magurran was awarded £301,913 towards her project.

Dr Chandrika Kaul.

Reader in modern history Dr Chandrika Kaul has also been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship worth more than £124,000. Dr Kaul has specialised in studying British imperialism and her work researching the BBC and India will be published by Oxford University Press.

The Leverhulme Trust is a legacy of a businessman and philanthropist William Hesketh Lever of soap giants Lever Brothers, which later merged to form Unilever. It is one of the largest providers of research funding in the UK, distributing at least £100 million a year.

Already a subscriber? Sign in