Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Kai Finster

Professor

Kai Finster
See relations at Aarhus University

Profile

My research interest and expertise in microbial processes in extreme environments include the search for life on Mars and I work in transdisciplinary fields involving also chemistry, physics, geosciences, atmospheric sciences, and astronomy. As a member of the interdisciplinary Mars research group, I have published the most comprehensive Mars simulation study so far and have discovered the role of wind-driven erosion as a possible quantitatively important but overlooked contribution to Martian soil chemistry, which could affect the composition of the Martian atmosphere and the persistence of organic matter, including the survival of microorganism, in Martian surface material. Since 2012, I have been the head of the astrobiology knot within the Stellar Astrophysics Centre at the Department of Physics and Astronomy (AU) which is financed by the Danish Science Foundation. In this function, I am involved in experimentally and theoretically exploring ways of identifying the presence of life on Exoplanets by focusing on exoplanet atmospheres. In 2020, I obtained a Villum Experiment grant to study processes that affect the annual version of methane concentrations in the atmosphere of Mars.

 

Profile

My research in aerobiology that I carry out in close collaboration with assist. prof. Tina Santl-Temkiv focuses on studying the spreading of microbes through the atmosphere and on their role in atmospheric processes.  In collaboration with the atmospheric chemistry group of Merete Bilde at the Chemistry Department, AU, we investigate mechanisms of the aerosolisation of microbes. In collaboration with Thomas Boesen at iNANO (AU), we explore the structure and function of ice nucleation active proteins (INP) and their role in ice formation in the atmosphere. In 2019, our efforts in aerobiology were rewarded with a Novo Synergy grant focusing on deciphering the role of microbial aerosols (DRAMA). In addition, I am a member of the transdisciplinary and cross-faculty “Atmospherica-network” which is an AU platform to stimulate collaboration among scientists that do aerosol research.

 

View all (218) »

Latest activities and conferences

ID: 10000