Luke Steller

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Luke Steller
PhD Candidate
Grouping Type: 
PhD Candidate

Luke Steller is a PhD candidate at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. His research involves studying ancient and modern hot spring systems to better understand the origin of life on Earth. Through conducting pre-biotic experiments (i.e. polymerizing RNA and synthesising proto-cells), in realistic early Earth hot spring conditions, he is hoping to help “ground proof” our understanding of the first chemical systems that evolved into life on Earth.

Luke's project has two main objectives:  
1: To develop a better understanding of Archean hot springs through conduction in-depth B isotope analysis on sea-water/rock interactions, resulting in a model of sea-water characteristics that were altering the rocks below and feeding up into the 3.5 billion year old Dresser hot spring system 
2: To use this new found understanding of Archean hot spring environments to "ground-proof" previous pre-biotic experiments. The current methods of conducting pre-biotic experiments are unrealistic when compared to the complex early Earth environments in which life formed. Luke's repetition of previous experiments and design of new ones with the environmental context in mind tests if realistic Archean environments help or hinder the origin of life on Earth.  


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