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Biodiversity in the City : issue 1
16 Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of NSW Research in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology focuses on early life on Earth, modern analogues of that life, and the search for life elsewhere. The oldest convincing evidence of life is found in 3.4-3.5 billion year old rocks in the Pilbara region of WA; it is a record of already complex microbial life. Modern examples of similar life occur in Shark Bay in WA as well as other places. Discover the biodiversity of the unknown! Explore and touch 3.4 billion year old fossilised stromatolites and discover the future of robotic missions to our solar systems. Talk to Australian Museum scientists that discover new species of plants and animals and find out how we can investigate the unknown biodiversity in the environment. Become a pioneer of biodiversity of the great unknown and take part in a virtual field trip of your very own! Jessica Coffey Jessica is a palaeobiologist/geologist. Her current area of interest involves determining the palaeoenvironments and palaeoecology occurring on Earth almost 3 billion years ago. At a time where great change was occurring, microbial communities known as stromatolites were instrumental in providing oxygen on Earth. All past environments highlight what we can look for on other planets to determine how to interpret signs of life. Reut Sorek-Abramovich As an astro-microbiologist Reut has explored the bacterial diversity in Antarctic ice cores originating from permafrost and glacier environments. This in turn helps us to understand how life may persist in extreme environments (like Mars or Europa). The connection between old and modern enables us to theorise how life began on Earth and where life might emerge. final frontier location: Powerhouse Museum