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

Susan Conway

CNRS Research Scientist
Back to all teachers

Planetary Geomorphology, topography, experiments, remote sensing, Mars, Mercury, Earth analogues

Susan Conway is a planetary geomorphologist working for the CNRS at the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géosciences in Nantes. She studies the surfaces of the rocky bodies of the Solar System to better understand the processes that shape them with a focus on the influence of volatiles. For example, sublimation is a common process in the Solar System, but understudied as a landscape-forming process because it does not dominate on Earth. She uses laboratory experiments, analogue fieldwork on Earth and topographic remote sensing to perform her research. She is also involved in instrument teams on space missions: the cameras HiRISE onboard NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and CaSSIS onboard ESA Trace Gas Orbiter. Her recent work includes studying mass wasting processes on Mercury and Ceres, the role of sublimation of carbon dioxide ice in causing downslope flows on Mars, using machine learning to map dust devils on Mars and the influence of permafrost degradation in triggering landslides on Earth.
Credit photo: Stéphanie Beaunay

Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géosciences UMR CNRS 6112 – 2 rue de la Houssinière – BP 92208, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3


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.