Astrobiology researcher based at University College London
Humanity's future in space
Despite cutbacks at publicly funded space organisations, we will get closer to manned missions to Mars and the asteroids – colonising them for minerals or to further our understanding of the solar system. We will continue to be an exploratory species.
As an astrobiologist studying the possibility of life beyond the Earth, Lewis Dartnell uses computer models and hardy bacteria from Antarctica to explore how long microbial life, and signs of its existence, might survive on the surface of Mars.
One of the new faces in science communication, Dartnell writes frequently for popular science magazines such as NewScientist and BBC Focus, and has appeared on TV shows such as Sky at Night and Wonders of the Universe. His first book, Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide, was published in 2007, and The Tourist's Guide to the Solar System is published in February 2012.