An Astrobiology Introductory Course

Rencontres exobiologiques pour doctorants

RED is a Training School about the “Basics in Astrobiology”. Astrobiology addresses questions related to the origins of life, its evolution, and distribution in the Universe. This school aims to offer an interdisciplinary training in astrobiology to students and young researchers having a master’s degree in astronomy, planetology, geology, chemistry, biology, or history and philosophy of science. If you are preparing a thesis or are an early career scientist with a subject related to astrobiology, this training school is for you! Each year, the “in-person” edition of the school is held in March in Le Teich (France). In June, a virtual school with the same program is also organized.

Virtual school program

Weekly schedule (June 10 - 14)

RED 24

March 17th - 23rd 2024

Teachers of the year

Kathrin Altwegg

Emeritus Professor
Back to all teachers

Comets – Astrochemistry

Kathrin Altwegg is a professor emer. in space research and planetology at the University of Bern. She completed her PhD in solid state physics at the University of Basel in 1980. After working as a postdoctoral scholar at the New York University, she joined the Physics institute in Bern. She got her habilitation in 1996 and became an associate professor in 2001. From 2011 till 2016 she led the Center for Space and Habitability of the University of Bern. Kathrin Altwegg’s research interests are focused on cometary science using mass spectrometry in situ. She was involved in the European mission Giotto to comet Halley and later as principal investigator of the ROSINA instrument on ESA’s Rosetta mission to comet 67P. She is active in science outreach in schools as well as for the public.

Physikalisches Institut – University of Bern – Switzerland


Amination of the virtual school

Astrobiology disciplines


Nucleosynthesis, Star formation and evolution


Interstellar medium, Prebiotic chemistry, Chirality


Evolution, Tree of life, Extremophiles


Meteorites, Early Earth Environment, Traces of life


Exploration, Space missions, Exoplanets

History and philosophy

What is life?
Evolution of ideas

A “complete” RED training is scheduled over 2 years, but each year is self-consistent. You can attend once, or two years in a row. All lectures are in English.

Meet students from all over the world to learn about astrobiology and its most recent developments. Work together on interdisciplinary projects and make new connections. Benefit from the expertise of specialists from all over the world

Get access to the latest scientific results on the origins of life on Earth, and the search for life elsewhere: thanks to the online courses and conferences.