The Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) offers undergraduate and graduate students research and educational opportunities. The PHL is a computational laboratory (dry-lab) where students use computers to acquire and analyze data about Earth, the Solar System, or exoplanets. Most of our projects are centered on studying planetary habitability, aiming to understand the potential habitable environments beyond Earth in the universe. Our data is derived from various sources, including laboratory experiments, ground or satellite observations, planetary probes, and telescopes.


To participate in a research project at the PHL, students must meet the following criteria:


Research student responsibilities at the PHL can vary widely depending on the specific project and the student's role within the team. However, there are common responsibilities and tasks that research students are expected to undertake. These include:


Students participating in research projects at the PHL stand to gain a wide range of academic and professional benefits, which can significantly enrich their educational experience and enhance their career prospects. Here are some of the key benefits:

Cources for Undergraduates Students

FISI 4985: Undergraduate Research

The Undergraduate Research course provides students with research experiences in astrophysics, planetary sciences, scientific computing, and astrobiology. Students majoring in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, or computer science can participate. A general point average of 3.10 or higher is required, and preferably some programming experience (e.g., R or Python) (2 credits, 6 contact hours per week).

ASTR 3010: General Astrobiology

The General Astrobiology course covers basic concepts from the universe's origin, formation of stars and planets, biochemistry, terrestrial and planetary sciences, ecology, planetary habitability, and climate change to space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life. This course is aimed at any student who wishes to understand the nature of life on Earth and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life (3 credits, 3 contact hours per week).

Funding Opportunities

How to Participate

To initiate your involvement in any of the PHL's research projects, please begin by completing the form link provided below (UPR's login required). Following your submission, you may be approached for an interview as part of the selection process.