Dirk Schulze-Makuch

Dirk Schulze-Makuch

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Dirk Schulze-Makuch is currently a professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Washington State University
Washington State University
Washington State University is a public research university based in Pullman, Washington, in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1890, WSU is the state's original and largest land-grant university...

. He is best known for his publications on extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

, being coauthor of four books on the topic: A One Way Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet (2011), We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life (2010), Cosmic Biology: How Life could Evolve on Other Worlds (2010), and Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (2004).

Together with Paul Davies
Paul Davies
Paul Charles William Davies, AM is an English physicist, writer and broadcaster, currently a professor at Arizona State University as well as the Director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science...

 he proposed in 2010 exploration of Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 by a one-way trip to the planet.

Education and Career


His upbringing was in Giessen, Germany, where he received his Diplom-Degree (M.S.) in Geology from Justus Liebig University in 1991. In 1996 he obtained his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After having worked as Senior Project Hydrogeologist at Envirogen, a Princeton-based research and consulting firm, for which he investigated subsurface hydrocarbon spills, he became in 1997 Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In 1998 he joined the University of Texas at El Paso as assistant professor, investigating microbe and chemical transport in groundwater
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

, and microbe interactions with their environment. From there he joined Washington State University
Washington State University
Washington State University is a public research university based in Pullman, Washington, in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1890, WSU is the state's original and largest land-grant university...

 in 2004: first as Associate Professor, since 2010 as Professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Scientific research


Schulze-Makuch's research interests and publications range from astrobiology
Astrobiology
Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This interdisciplinary field encompasses the search for habitable environments in our Solar System and habitable planets outside our Solar System, the search for evidence of prebiotic chemistry,...

, hydrobiology
Hydrobiology
Hydrobiology is the science of life and life processes in water. Much of modern hydrobiology can be viewed as a sub-discipline of ecology but the sphere of hydrobiology includes taxonomy, economic biology, industrial biology, morphology, physiology etc. The one distinguishing aspect is that all...

, archeology, to cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

. To the viewer he may be best known for his work in astrobiology, in particular the possible existence of life on Venus
Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

, Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

, Titan
Life on Titan
Whether or not there is life on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is at present an open question and a topic of scientific discussion and research....

, Europa
Europa (moon)
Europa Slightly smaller than Earth's Moon, Europa is primarily made of silicate rock and probably has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This surface is striated by cracks and...

 and Io
Io (moon)
Io ) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter and, with a diameter of , the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System. It was named after the mythological character of Io, a priestess of Hera who became one of the lovers of Zeus....

. His book Life in the Universe (with L. N. Irwin) considers alternative physiologies for extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

.

Patents


Removal of Biological Pathogens Using Surfactant Modified Zeolite. Patent No. US 7,311,839 B2. Date of patent: dec. 25, 2007.

Media activity


The work of Schulze-Makuch has received much attention. It has been the subject of TV programs on the BBC, the National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, and of numerous articles in magazines such as New Scientist
New Scientist
New Scientist is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine, which since 1996 has also run a website, covering recent developments in science and technology for a general audience. Founded in 1956, it is published by Reed Business Information Ltd, a subsidiary of...

, the Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 and Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, with a weekly circulation of more than one million.-Overview:...

.

Academic Book

  • Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (with L.N. Irwin) (2004) ISBN 978-3540768166.

Popular Science Books

  • A One Way Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet (with P. Davies and ten more authors; J.S. Levine, editor) (2011) ISBN 978-0982955246
  • We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life (with D. Darling) (2010) ISBN 978-1851687190
  • Cosmic Biology: How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds (with L.N. Irwin) (2010) ISBN 978-1441916464

External links