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General information

The conference “Geoscience for understanding habitability in the solar system and beyond” will be held from 25 to 29 September 2017 at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Furnas, Azores, Portugal. The meeting will start on 25 September in the morning and finish on 29 September at lunchtime. The conference functions as an EGU Galileo meeting and is co-organized by the COST action “Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe”, the Nordic Network of Astrobiology, and the Belgian Planet Topers project. It is co-chaired by Prof. Veronique Dehant (Royal Observatory of Belgium) and by Prof. Wolf Geppert (Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre).


The (hopefully) final programme of the meeting is now available. It can be accessed here.

Scope of the meeting

This conference will deal with fundamental issues of planetary habitability, i.e. the environmental conditions capable of sustaining life, and how interactions between the interior of a planet or a moon and its atmosphere and surface (including hydrosphere and biosphere) affect the habitability of the celestial body. It will address some hotly debated questions in the field including the following:

  • What effects do core and mantle have on evolution and habitability of planets?
  • What is the relation between (plate) tectonics and atmospheric evolution?
  • What role does the mantle overturn play in the evolution of the interior and atmosphere?
  • What is the role of the global carbon and water cycles herein?
  • What influence do comet and asteroid impacts exert on the evolution of the planet?
  • How does life interact with the evolution of Earth’s geosphere and atmosphere?
  • How can we use our knowledge of the solar system geophysics and habitability for exoplanets?

The proposed interdisciplinary will encompass research on all the planets from the upper atmosphere to the deep interior relevant to their habitability. It aims to bring together scientists from all disciplines related to the field in order to discuss the above-mentioned issues.

Invited speakers

The following scientists have agreed to present invited talks at the conference:

David Catling, University of Washinton, United States
Fabrice Gaillard, University of Orleans, France
Steven Goderis, Vrije Universitet Brussel, Belgium
Kevin Heng, University of Bern, Switzerland
Dennis Höning, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
Emmanuelle Javaux, University of Liège, Belgium
Anders Johansen, Lund University, Sweden
Alessandro Morbidelli, University of Nice, France
Lena Noack, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Belgium
Heike Rauer, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
Paul Tackley, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Kai Wünnemann, Natural History Museum, Berlin, Germany

Registration and abstract submission

Please consult our registration website for details. The conference is open to scientists from all relevant disciplines. However, we would like to point out that (i) the Scientific Organisational Committee reserves the right to refuse attendees and (ii) invitation letters for obtaining visas are only issued to accepted talk and poster presenters. The conference is limited to 120 attendees, so early registration is advisable.

There is no registration fee charged for participation in the conference. However, participants that are neither invited speakers nor recipients of bursaries nor members of the Core Group of COST Action TD1308 have to find their own funding for their accommodation, travels, and meals.

Bursaries and early career keynote speakers

Bursaries are available, for students and early career scientists, preferably for those giving oral and poster presentations. Bursaries will amount to €60 per night spent at the conference (between Sunday 24 and Saturday 30 September) and €20 for each meal. In addition, travel costs up to an amount of €400 can be refunded. Recipients of bursaries will be selected by the Scientific Committee after the registration deadline and given notice in due course. Please note that bursaries will be allocated preferably to Ph. D. students, early career scientists and researchers from EU Inclusiveness Target Countries.


The conference will be held at the Hotel Terra Nostra Garden****, Rua Padre José Jacinto Botelho, 9675-061 Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal. The hotel is a newly renovated Art Deco hotel with a very good restaurant and a large, famous botanical garden. The João Paulo Airport with frequent direct flights to the European mainland is located only 45 km from the venue. For further details please check our Venue & Access page.


The deadline for registration and abstract submission is 15 June 2017.