Workshop: Life in the Sub-Surface: Habitats, Species, Metabolism and Survival Strategies

General information

The Workshop “Life in the Sub-Surface: Habitats, Species, Metabolism and Survival Strategies”  will take place from 25th to 27th October 2023 in Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Açores.

The duration of the workshop will be three full days with arrival of participants on 24 October in the afternoon and departure on 28th October morning. The workshop is open to all interested students and scientists.

This workshop is organised by the European Astrobiology Institute.

Registration and Abstract Submissions

The deadline for registration and abstract submission is 1 July 2023 23:59:00 UTC. Please refer to the corresponding pages for more details.

For Abstract Submission, click here
=> Selected speakers will be notified in the last 2 weeks of July.

For Registration, click here


The workshop will cover the following subjects:

  • Characteristics of (potential)  sub-surface habitats on Earth and beyond
  • Early evolution of subsurface life including its possible role in emergence of life
  • Diversity, metabolism and survival strategies of subsurface life on Earth
  • Possibility of extraterrestrial sub-durface life and its detection.
  • Gaps in the knowledge about subsurface life
  • Subsurface environments and extremophiles on the Azores.

Structure of The Workshop

October 25th

  • Scientific Sessions during the day
  • Poster session in the evening

October 26th

  • Morning: Talks about the geology of the Azores as well as subsurface environments , field sites extremophiles on the Azores
  • Afternoon: Excursion to the Algar de Carvão volcano chimney. The Gruta de Natal Lava cave and the Furnas de Enxofre solfatare field. We will have a dinner at an  Azorean restaurant. 

October 27th

  • Morning and early afternoon: Scientific sessions in the morning
  • Early afternoon: Discussion about “Gaps in the knowledge” in the afternoon, which will form the basis of a review article/white paper/strategy

There will be generous discussion times after each session to foster identification of the “Gaps in the knowledge” about subsurface life.

Outreach work

The future EAI project team “Astrobiology and Art” will organise a multimedia event on the first day. There will be a speleological society “Os Montanheiros” will organise an exhibition of life in Azorean lava caves.

Invited Speakers

Henrik Drake

Linnaeus University, Sweden

Ernst Hauber

German Aerospace Centre, Germany

Alexandra Hillebrand-Voiculescu

Emil Rakovita Institute of Speleology, Romania

Andreas Pflitsch

Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Alexis Templeton

Uiversity of Colorado, USA

Frances Westall

CNRS, France

Scientific Organisation Committee

The following scientists are serving on the Scientific Organisation Committee:

Participation Fees

Participants from Institutions Inside EAI

Participants from Institutions Outside EAI

These rates include

  • Accommodation as specified from 24 October 2023 (arrival) to 28 October 2023 (departure)
  • Breakfasts (only for hotel guests, we provide groceries for people living in the hostel), coffee breaks starting from 24 October dinner until breakfast  28  October 2023
  • Coffee breaks
  • Excursions and entrance fees for those who book the excursions
  • Conference material

For a list of institutions participating in the European Astrobiology Institute, click here. Sadly, we cannot financially support attendees to the conference. 

Invite speakers will be offered free lodging at Terceira Mar Hotel and meals. 

Instructions for payment will be given to participants in due course.

Conference Venue

Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Angra do Heroísmo

Canada Nova de S/N, 9700-130 Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal

Terceira, Portugal
25th - 27th October 2023


The main organiser of the event will be the European Astrobiology Institute will be Dr. Wolf Geppert from Stockholm University. For scientific questions he will serve as the main contact person. For administrative issues (e.g. payment) please contact Mariette Vandermersch. The organisers are looking forward to welcoming you at the course.