This book presents an overview of current views on the origin of life and its earliest evolution. Each chapter describes key processes, environments and transition on the long road from geochemistry and astrochemistry to biochemistry and finally to the ancestors of today´s organisms. Prebiotic Chemistry and the Origin of Life combines the bottom-up and the top-down approaches to life including the origin of key chemical and structural features of living cells and the nature of abiotic factors that shaped these features in primordial environments.
The book provides an overview of the topic as well as its state of the art for graduate students and newcomers to the field. It also serves as a reference for researchers in origins of life on Earth and beyond.
Anna Neubeck is an associate professor in mineralogy, petrology and tectonics with a focus on the deep biosphere and isotope geochemistry and currently a fellow at the Swedish Collegium for advanced study in Uppsala. She has more than 30 articles and is a board member of The Swedish space researcher organisation (SRS), SWAN (Swedish Astrobiology Network) and Geologins Dag. She works broadly with geochemistry and is an active participant in working groups such as PELE (PI, Planetary Analogs & Exobiology Lava Tube Expedition), Chemobrionics (working with pseudo fossils and biomorphs) and the H2020 funded biomineralization/enhanced bio-accelerated weathering project BAM! (Co-PI). She also has her own company, working with microbial colonisation of the deep subsurface. She has also got the Crafoord stipend from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for her work on caves in South Africa.
Sean McMahon is an astrobiologist. He is interested in the co-evolution of life and planetary environments across large spans of space and time. As a Chancellor’s Fellow (tenure-track) at the University of Edinburgh’s UK Centre for Astrobiology, his focus is on the search for traces of ancient life in rocks from Earth that resemble those from Mars. His work has been published in 30+ journal articles and reported by a wide range of TV, radio, online and printed media. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and of the Geological Society of London, a member of the Palaeontological Association and the Astrobiology Society of Britain, and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Astrobiology.