Dirk Schulze-Makuch

Dirk Schulze-Makuch (born 1964) is a professor at the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Technical University Berlin, Germany and Adjunct Professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Washington State University, Pullman, WA. He is best known for his publications on extraterrestrial life, being coauthor of five books on the topic: The Cosmic Zoo: Complex Life on Many Worlds (2017), A One Way Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet (2011), We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life (2010), Cosmic Biology: How Life could Evolve on Other Worlds (2010), and Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (2004, 2008, 2018). In 2012 he published with David Darling Megacatastrophes! Nine Strange Ways the World Could End. In 2013 he published the second edition of his science fiction novel Alien Encounter. Together with Paul Davies he proposed in 2010 exploration of Mars by a one-way trip to the planet.[1]

Dirk Schulze-Makuch
Dirk Schulze-Makuch Portrait in May 2020.jpg
Dirk Schulze-Makuch in May 2020
Born (1964-01-29) 29 January 1964 (age 58)
NationalityGerman and American
Alma materJustus Liebig University, Giessen
Known for(with L.N. Irwin) Life in the Universe (book)
AwardsFriedrich-Wilhelm Bessel Award (2010)
Scientific career
InstitutionsTechnical University, Berlin
German Aerospace Centre, Berlin
Washington State University
University of Texas at El Paso
University of Wisconsin
Justus Liebig University at Giessen

Education and careerEdit

His upbringing was in Giessen, Germany, where he received his Diplom-Degree (M.S.) in Geology from Justus Liebig University in 1991. In 1996 he obtained his Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After having worked as Senior Project Hydrogeologist at Envirogen, a Princeton-based research and consulting firm, for which he investigated subsurface hydrocarbon spills, he became in 1997 Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In 1998 he joined the University of Texas at El Paso as assistant professor, investigating microbe and chemical transport in groundwater, and microbial interaction in a planetary environment. From there he joined Washington State University in 2004: first as Associate Professor, since 2010 as Professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, with focus on astrobiology and planetary habitability. Since 2013 he is a Professor at the Technical University Berlin (Germany) and led as Principal Investigator the European Union – funded ERC Advanced Grant project on the “Habitability of Martian Environments” from 2013 to 2019.[2] In 2019 he has been awarded an ERC Proof of Concept Grant.[3]

Scientific researchEdit

Schulze-Makuch's research interests and publications range from life beyond Earth,[4][5][6][7][8] including planetary protection,[9][10] hydrobiology,[11][12][13] archeology,[14][15] to cancer.[16] To the viewer he may be best known for his work in astrobiology [17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] in particular the possible existence of life on Venus,[26][27] Mars,[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35]Titan,[36][37][38]Europa,[39][40][41] and Io .[42] With Ian Crawford he proposed that microbial life may have existed temporarily on Earth´s Moon, at a time of major volcanic outgassing about 3.5 billion years ago.[43] His book Life in the Universe (with L. N. Irwin) and his studies[44][45][46] consider alternative physiologies for extraterrestrial life.


Removal of Biological Pathogens Using Surfactant Modified Zeolite. Patent No. US 7,311,839 B2. Date of patent: dec. 25, 2007.[47]


Friedrich-Wilhelm Bessel Award (2010) by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Media activityEdit

The work of Schulze-Makuch has received much attention. It has been the subject of TV programs on the BBC, the National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, and of numerous articles in magazines such as New Scientist, The Guardian and Der Spiegel.

Blog: Air&Space Magazine: Life beyond Earth[48]


Academic booksEdit

  • Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (with L.N. Irwin) (3rd ed.) (2018) ISBN 978-3-319976570
  • Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (with L.N. Irwin) (2nd ed.) (2008) ISBN 978-3-540-76816-6
  • Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints (with L.N. Irwin) (2004) ISBN 978-3-540-76816-6

Popular science booksEdit

  • The Cosmic Zoo (2017) ISBN 3-319-62044-4 ISBN 978-3-319-62044-2
  • The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia (2nd edition, 2016) (with D. Darling)
  • How To Develop The Solar System and Beyond: A Roadmap to Interstellar Space (with A. Sinclair and six more authors) (2012) ASIN B009KWNO02
  • Megacatastrophes! Nine Strange Ways the World Could End (with D. Darling) (2012) ISBN 978-1-85168-905-7
  • A One Way Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet (with P. Davies and ten more authors; J.S. Levine, editor) (2011) ISBN 978-0-9829552-4-6
  • We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life (with D. Darling) (2010) ISBN 978-1-85168-719-0
  • Cosmic Biology: How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds (with L.N. Irwin) (2010) ISBN 978-1-4419-1646-4

Science fiction novelEdit


  1. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Davies, P. (2010). "To Boldly Go: A One-Way Human Mission to Mars". Journal of Cosmology. 12: 3619–3626. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010.
  2. ^ "Habitability of Martian Environments: Exploring the Physiological and Environmental Limits of Life". European Research Council. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  3. ^ "PortPath: A Portable Device for Detecting Pathogens". European Research Council. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  4. ^ Heinz, J.; Krahn, T. & Schulze-Makuch, D. (2020). "A new record for microbial perchlorate tolerance: fungal growth in NaClO4 Brines and its implications for putative life on Mars". Life. 10 (5): 53. doi:10.3390/life10050053. PMC 7281446. PMID 32353964.
  5. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D. & Bains, W. (2018). "Time to consider search strategies for complex life on exoplanets". Nature Astronomy. 2 (6): 432. Bibcode:2018NatAs...2..432S. doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0476-2. S2CID 64692257.
  6. ^ Bains, W.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2016). "The cosmic zoo: the (near) inevitability for the evolution of complex, macroscopic life". Life. 6 (3): 25. doi:10.3390/life6030025. PMC 5041001. PMID 27376334.
  7. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Schulze-Makuch, A.; Houtkooper, J. (2015). "The physical, chemical, and physiological limits of life". Life. 5 (3): 1472–1486. doi:10.3390/life5031472. PMC 4598648. PMID 26193325.
  8. ^ Irwin, L.N.; Mendez, A.; Fairen, A.G.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2014). "Assessing the Possibility of Biological Complexity on Other Worlds, with an Estimate of the Occurrence of Complex Life in the Milky Way Galaxy". Challenges. 5 (1): 159–174. Bibcode:2014Chall...5..159I. doi:10.3390/challe5010159.
  9. ^ Fairén, A.G.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Whyte, L.; Parro, V.; Pavlov, A.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Azua-Bustos, A.; Fink, W.; Baker, V. (2019). "Planetary protection and the astrobiological exploration of Mars: Proactive steps in moving forward". Advances in Space Research. 63 (5): 1491–1497. Bibcode:2019AdSpR..63.1491F. doi:10.1016/j.asr.2019.01.011.
  10. ^ Fairen, A.G.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2013). "The overprotection of Mars". Nature Geoscience. 6 (7): 510. Bibcode:2013NatGe...6..510F. doi:10.1038/ngeo1866.
  11. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Haque, S.; Beckles, D.; Schmitt-Kopplin, P.; Harir, M.; Schneider, B.; Stumpp, C.; Wagner, D. (2020). "A chemical and microbial characterization of selected mud volcanoes reveals pathogens introduced by surface water and rainwater". Science of the Total Environment. 707 (136087): 707. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136087. PMID 31874397.
  12. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Cherkauer, D.S. (1998). "Variations in hydraulic conductivity with scale of measurement during aquifer tests in heterogeneous, porous carbonate rocks". Hydrogeology Journal. 6 (2): 204–215. Bibcode:1998HydJ....6..204S. doi:10.1007/s100400050145. S2CID 129868404.
  13. ^ Abdel-Fattah, A.; Langford, R. & Schulze-Makuch, D. (2007). "Applications of particle-tracking techniques to bank infiltration: a case study from El Paso, Texas, USA". Environmental Geology. 11 (3): 505. Bibcode:2008EnGeo..55..505A. doi:10.1007/s00254-007-0996-z. S2CID 130625697.
  14. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D. (1992). "Rammner's Current Line Perturbation Method as used to prospect in an early Roman Marching-Camp". Journal of Applied Geosciences. 11: 75–86.
  15. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D. (1996). "Survey of the outline of an early Roman Marching Camp in Germany by Rammner's Current Line Perturbation Method". Journal of Archaeological Science. 23 (6): 883–887. doi:10.1006/jasc.1996.0083.
  16. ^ António, M.R.S.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2009). "The immune system as key to cancer treatment: triggering its activity with microbial agents". Bioscience Hypotheses. 2 (6): 388–392. doi:10.1016/j.bihy.2009.08.003.
  17. ^ Heinz, J.; Waajen, A.C.; Airo, A.; Alibrandi, A.; Schirmack, J.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2019). "Bacterial growth in chloride and perchlorate brines: Halotolerances and salt stress responses of Planococcus halocryophilus". Astrobiology. 19 (11): 1377–1387. Bibcode:2019AsBio..19.1377H. doi:10.1089/ast.2019.2069. PMC 6818489. PMID 31386567.
  18. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D. (2019). "The naked mole-rat: an unusual organism with an unexpected latent potential for advanced intelligence?". Life. 9 (3): 76. doi:10.3390/life9030076. PMC 6789728. PMID 31527499.
  19. ^ Irwin, L.N.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2001). "Assessing the plausibility of life on other worlds". Astrobiology. 1 (2): 143–160. Bibcode:2001AsBio...1..143I. doi:10.1089/153110701753198918. PMID 12467118.
  20. ^ Shapiro, R.S.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2009). "The search for alien life in our solar system: strategies and priorities". Astrobiology. 9 (4): 335–343. Bibcode:2009AsBio...9..335S. doi:10.1089/ast.2008.0281. PMID 19355818.
  21. ^ Brooks, H.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2010). "The Solar Wind Power Satellite as an alternative to a traditional Dyson Sphere and its implications for remote detection". International Journal of Astrobiology. 9 (2): 89–99. Bibcode:2010IJAsB...9...89H. doi:10.1017/S1473550410000066. S2CID 122974525.
  22. ^ António, M.R.S.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2010). "The power of social structure: how we became an intelligent lineage". International Journal of Astrobiology. 10 (1): 15–23. Bibcode:2011IJAsB..10...15D. doi:10.1017/s1473550410000169. S2CID 122961268.
  23. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Irwin, L.N. & Fairen, A.G. (2013). "Drastic environmental change and its effects on a planetary biosphere". Icarus. 225 (1): 775. Bibcode:2013Icar..225..775S. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.05.001.
  24. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Davila, A.F. (2010). "Searching for Life Beyond our Planet: Are We There Yet?". Eos. 91 (32): 280. Bibcode:2010EOSTr..91..280S. doi:10.1029/2010EO320004.
  25. ^ McKay, C.P.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Boston, P.J.; ten Kate, I.L.; Davila, A.F. & Shocks, E. (2011). "The next phase in our search for life — An expert discussion". Astrobiology. 11 (1): 2–8. Bibcode:2011AsBio..11....2M. doi:10.1089/ast.2010.1122. PMID 21294665.
  26. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Irwin, L.N. (2002). "Reassessing the possibility of life on Venus: Proposal for an Astrobiology Mission". Astrobiology. 2 (2): 197–202. Bibcode:2002AsBio...2..197S. doi:10.1089/15311070260192264. PMID 12469368.
  27. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Grinspoon, D.H.; Abbas, O.; Irwin, L.N. & Bullock, M. (2004). "A sulfur-based UV adaptation strategy for putative phototrophic life in the Venusian atmosphere". Astrobiology. 4 (1): 11–18. Bibcode:2004AsBio...4...11S. doi:10.1089/153110704773600203. PMID 15104900.
  28. ^ Fairén, A.G.; et al. (2009). "Evidence for Amazonian acidic liquid water on Mars: a reinterpretation of MER mission results". Planetary and Space Science. 57 (3): 276–287. Bibcode:2009P&SS...57..276F. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2008.11.008.
  29. ^ Davila, A.F.; Skidmore, M.; Fairén, A.G.; Cockell, C. & Schulze-Makuch, D. (2010). "New priorities in the robotic exploration of Mars: The case for in situ search of extant life". Astrobiology. 10 (7): 705–710. Bibcode:2010AsBio..10..705D. doi:10.1089/ast.2010.0538. PMID 20929400.
  30. ^ Fairén, A.G.; et al. (2010). "Noachian and more recent phyllosilicates in impact craters on Mars". PNAS. 107 (4): 12, 095–12, 100. Bibcode:2010PNAS..107...12C. doi:10.1073/pnas.0912404107. PMC 2824403. PMID 20133883.
  31. ^ Davila, A.F.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2016). "The last possible outposts of life on Mars". Astrobiology. 16 (2): 159–168. Bibcode:2016AsBio..16..159D. doi:10.1089/ast.2015.1380. PMID 26836457.
  32. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; et al. (2018). "Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115 (11): 2670–2675. Bibcode:2018PNAS..115.2670S. doi:10.1073/pnas.1714341115. PMC 5856521. PMID 29483268.
  33. ^ Montgomery, W.; Jaramillo, E.A.; Royle, S.H.; Kounaves, S.P.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Sephton, M.A. (2019). "Effects of Oxygen-Containing Salts on the Detection of Organic Biomarkers on Mars and in Terrestrial Analog Soils". Astrobiology. 19 (6): 711–721. Bibcode:2019AsBio..19..711M. doi:10.1089/ast.2018.1888. PMID 31062993.
  34. ^ Heinz, J.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2020). "Thiophenes on Mars: biotic or abiotic origin?". Astrobiology. 20 (4): 552–561. Bibcode:2020AsBio..20..552H. doi:10.1089/ast.2019.2139. PMID 32091933.
  35. ^ Maus, D.; Heinz, J.; Schirmack, J.; Airo, A.; Kounaves, S.P.; Wagner, D.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2020). "Methanogenic archaea can produce methane in deliquescence-driven Mars analog environments". Scientific Reports. 10 (6): 6. Bibcode:2020NatSR..10....6M. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56267-4. PMC 6949245. PMID 31913316.
  36. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Grinspoon, D.H. (2005). "Biologically Enhanced Energy and Carbon Cycling on Titan?". Astrobiology. 5 (4): 560–567. arXiv:physics/0501068. Bibcode:2005AsBio...5..560S. doi:10.1089/ast.2005.5.560. PMID 16078872. S2CID 7923827.
  37. ^ Meckenstock, R.U.; von Netzer, F.; Stumpp, C.; Lueders, T.; Himmelberg, A.M.; Hertkorn, N.; Schmitt-Kopplin, P.; Harir, M.; Hosein, R.; Hosein, R.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2014). "Water inclusions in oil are microhabitats for microbial life". Science. 345 (6197): 673–676. Bibcode:2014Sci...345..673M. doi:10.1126/science.1252215. PMID 25104386. S2CID 13491492.
  38. ^ Sohl, F.; Solomonidou, A.; Wagner, F.W.; Coustenis, A.; Hussmann, H.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2014). "Structural and tidal models of Titan and inferences on cryovolcanism" (PDF). Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 119 (5): 1013–1036. Bibcode:2014JGRE..119.1013S. doi:10.1002/2013JE004512.
  39. ^ Irwin, L.N.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2003). "Strategy for modeling putative ecosystems on Europa". Astrobiology. 3 (4): 813–821. Bibcode:2003AsBio...3..813I. doi:10.1089/153110703322736114. PMID 14987484.
  40. ^ Figueredo, P.H.; Greeley, R.; Neuer, S.; Irwin, L.N. & Schulze-Makuch, D. (2003). "Locating potential biosignatures on Europa from surface geology observations". Astrobiology. 3 (4): 851–861. Bibcode:2003AsBio...3..851F. doi:10.1089/153110703322736132. PMID 14987486.
  41. ^ Abbas, S.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2008). "Amino acid synthesis in Europa's subsurface environment". International Journal of Astrobiology. 7 (3–4): 193–203. Bibcode:2008IJAsB...7..193A. doi:10.1017/S1473550408004114. S2CID 84591885.
  42. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D. (2010). "Io: Is life possible between fire and ice?". Journal of Cosmology. 5: 912–919. Archived from the original on February 23, 2010.
  43. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Crawford, I.A. (2018). "Was there an early habitability window for Earth´s Moon?". Astrobiology. 18 (8): 985–988. Bibcode:2018AsBio..18..985S. doi:10.1089/ast.2018.1844. PMC 6225594. PMID 30035616.
  44. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Irwin, L.N. (2006). "The prospect of alien life in exotic forms on other worlds". Naturwissenschaften. 93 (4): 155–172. Bibcode:2006NW.....93..155S. doi:10.1007/s00114-005-0078-6. PMID 16525788. S2CID 3207913.
  45. ^ Houtkooper, J.M.; Schulze-Makuch, D. (2007). "A possible biogenic origin for hydrogen peroxide on Mars: the Viking results reinterpreted". Int. J. Astrobiol. 6 (2): 147–152. arXiv:physics/0610093. Bibcode:2007IJAsB...6..147H. doi:10.1017/S1473550407003746. S2CID 8091895.
  46. ^ Schulze-Makuch, D.; Schulze-Makuch, A.; Houtkooper, J. (2015). "The physical, chemical, and physiological limits of life". Life. 5 (3): 1472–1486. doi:10.3390/life5031472. PMC 4598648. PMID 26193325.
  47. ^ "Patent US7311839 - Removal of biological pathogens using surfactant-modified zeolite - Google Patents". Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  48. ^ "Life Beyond Earth".

External linksEdit