Introduction  Programme  Scientific summary  Speakers  Registration  Hotel info




Mid-term Conference of the RNP

Archean Environment: the habitat of early life



Peering into the Cradle of Life:

Processes and Habitats on the Archean Earth



April 11-12, 2008

Vienna, Austria




Scientific Advisory Committee:
Ricardo Amils (UAM, Madrid)
Nick Arndt (University of Grenoble)

Michael Bau (Jacobs University Bremen)

David Catling (University of Bristol)

Paul Mason (Utrecht University)




The most important physical and chemical conditions when life evolved at the surface of the Archean Earth remain poorly constrained and the driving forces behind the formation and development of the earliest continents are unclear. Extrapolating our knowledge of the modern Earth, including plate tectonics, (bio)geochemical cycles and microbiological ecology back to the first two billion years of Earth history is fraught with difficulty. Life emerged in conditions that may or may not have a modern analogue. This workshop is designed to discuss the latest developments in these fields, within four major themes:

1.    Archean geodynamics, magmatism and hydrothermal systems;

2.    The Earth’s earliest sedimentary environments;

3.    Nature, composition and interactions between the Archean atmosphere and oceans;

4.    The emergence and evolution of early life. 

The meeting will be of interest to a wide variety of earth and planetary scientists working in fields related to the early Archean Earth, including geology, geochemistry, geophysics, microbiology, exobiology and geo-chronology.




Invited speakers will lead discussions in each key area. Contributions, either oral or poster, within these four sessions are strongly encouraged. Presentations should be short (15 mins) and will be coupled with extensive, informal discussion sessions.


Poster format is preferred to be A0 portrait. Please let us know if your poster is a different format, so we can let you know if we can accept it or not.


Participation will be limited to 100.



Venue: Austria Center Vienna




Please fill in the online registration form on this site



This workshop is supported by the European Science Foundation as part of the research network Archean Environment: the habitat of early life.
Participants from ESF member countries can apply during registration for funding to support attendance at this meeting. Funding will be available for the cost of travelling to Vienna (tourist class airfare or train ticket) and for two nights hotel accommodation in Vienna (up to 70 EURO per person per night). Please note that there is no registration fee for the workshop. Coffee, lunch on both days and dinner on Friday evening will be provided to all participants.

Priority will be given to participants from countries which financially support this ESF Programme (Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom). The involvement of young scientists is strongly encouraged. ESF rules require us to ensure a balanced geographical representation amongst the participants.


Please submit abstracts (max. 1 side of A4) before February 8, 2008 to Marjolein Mullen ( . The length of most talks will be only 15 minutes and integrated into an extended period of discussion; oral presentations will be limited in number and will be selected.


The deadline for registration is February 29, 2008.



You should arrange your own accommodation independently after you have registered. You can select from a wide range of hotels through the website of the EGU meeting. EGU 2008 will immediately follow the workshop. 



Organizing Committee (logistics):
Nick Arndt (Grenoble)
Andy Biggin (Utrecht)
Paul Mason (Utrecht)
Marjolein Mullen (Utrecht - Conference secretary)


For more information please contact the workshop secretary:

Marjolein Mullen (Utrecht University)