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Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Australian National University

As an astrobiologist, Aditya Chopra is interested in understanding planetary habitability and the origin and evolution of life on Earth by chemical and genomic analysis of extant life and its environments. He obtained an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Western Australia and graduated with 1st class Honours in astronomy at the Australian National University. He completed his PhD in 2015 at ANU and his thesis was entitled: "The Origin and Evolution of Life on a Pale Blue Dot: Astrophysical, Geochemical and Biological Constraints on Habitability". He was an Australian Endeavour Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Hawaii and is currently a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at University of Washington's School of Oceanography.

Aditya was recognised as a finalist for Student of the Year in the 2013 ANU Alumni Awards and was awarded the 2013 Robert Hill Memorial Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in the Earth Sciences. He also won First Prize at the 2012 Three Minute Thesis Competition at ANU and the Vice-Chancellor’s Community Outreach Award in 2011. He was part of the Australian delegation to the 2014 Commonwealth Science Conference and the 2013 Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting.

As a science communicator, he is committed to sharing the results of his research work and passion for science through public lectures and high school visits, online blogs and engagement with print, radio and social media.


  • 2016–present
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Washington
  • 2009–2015
    Graduate Student, Australian National University


  • 2015 
    Australian National University, PhD (Earth Sciences)
  • 2008 
    Australian National University, Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2007 
    University of Western Australia, Bachelor of Science


  • 2016
    The Case for a Gaian Bottleneck: the Biology of Habitability, Astrobiology
  • 2016
    What is the history of elements in the Universe?, Astrobiology
  • 2012
    Habitability of Earth and Other Earths: Astrophysical, Geochemical, Geophysical and Biological Limits on Planet Habitability, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • 2012
    What can life on Earth tell us about life in the universe?, Genesis - In The Beginning: Precursors of Life, Chemical Models and Early Biological Evolution
  • 2010
    Palaeoecophylostoichiometrics: Searching for the Elemental Composition of the Last Universal Common Ancestor, Australian Space Science Conference Series: 9th Conference Proceedings
  • 2009
    The major elemental abundance differences between Life, the Oceans and the Sun, Australian Space Science Conference Series: 8th Conference Proceedings
  • 2009
    What is Life made of?, The Australian National University's Undergraduate Research Journa

Research Areas

  • Astrobiology (020101)
  • Planetary Science (Excl. Extraterrestrial Geology) (020108)
  • Earth Sciences (04)
  • Astronomical And Space Sciences (0201)
  • Evolutionary Biology (0603)