Physical mechanisms extending the domain of liquid water at interfaces into the solid and vapor regions of the bulk phase diagram are crucial for the survival of life under extreme conditions such as cold and dry climates. These conditions are encountered locally in polar and desert regions on Earth and globally on other planets like Mars.
We discuss three classes of phenomena:
We describe how these mechanisms are used by a variety of organisms on Earth ranging from bacteria in permafrost to anti-freeze protein expressing arctic fishes and assess their significance for putative microbial life on Mars.
Public Lecture with two Presentations on Extraterrestrial Life
The ecology and conservation of a seasonally dry tropical forest in South America
The tangled evolutionary history of plants and fungi
From the field to the lab to integrated risk assessment of vector-borne pathogens