Australian Centre for Astrobiology “Grand Tour” 15 – 25 July 2015

Australian Centre for Astrobiology “Grand Tour” 15 – 25 July 2015


Following the success of the first Grand Tour during 2013 the Australian Center for Astrobiology will repeat the exercise on 15-25 July 2015. As a contribution to the astrobiology community the Australian Centre for Astrobiology will run a field trip to sites that every astrobiologist or geobiologist should see at least once in their lives. It will be a high level educational experience that will enrich the research and teaching programs of the participants.

Included will be the extant stromatolites of Shark Bay, the 2.5Ga banded iron formations and an associated iron ore mine of the Hamersley Basin, the putatively cyanobacterial stromatolites of the 2.7 Ga Fortescue Group, and the 3.35-3.49 Ga fossiliferous and other units of the Pilbara Craton with what is arguably the oldest convincing evidence of life on Earth. Expect intense discussions about such topics as the timing of the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis and the composition of the Archean atmosphere. The tour will be led by Professor Malcolm Walter. As well as the science we will enjoy some spectacular scenery, memorable campfire dinners, and sleeping under the southern stars (made easy by professional camp managers, Outdoor Spirit).

Places will be strictly limited because of the capacity of the aircraft, bus, country hotels, sheep station (ranch) and camping facilities to be utilised.

Daytime temperatures will be mild (20-300C) dropping to 5-100C at night. Rain is possible but unlikely.



Via – Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of New South Wales