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Christian Schroeder

I am generally interested in how the (bio)geochemical iron cycle interacts with cycles of nutrient elements such as carbon. This is relevant not only on Earth, where increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere resulting from the burning of fossil fuels are behind global climate change, but also on other planetary bodies such as Mars, where iron minerals may facilitate the preservation of organic matter.

Current projects investigate the role of iron in facilitating transport of carbon from source to sea and its subsequent sequestration in sediments; study the mineralogy and geochemsitry of Mars’ surface to reconstruct past environmental conditions and their suitability for life; analyze meteorites found on Mars to see how they interacted with the Martian environment.

I have worked with NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and am involved with the upcoming ESA ExoMars a.k.a. Rosalind Franklin rover.

Illustration of a time when the Earth was being formed, known as the Hadean Period.

Crucial Building Blocks of Life on Earth Can More Easily Form in Outer Space

A special group of molecules, known as peptides, can form more easily under the conditions of space than those found on Earth.