Planetary Habitability


The popular term habitability is formally known as habitat suitability in biology (Méndez et al., 2021). Ecologists before the 1980s were using different and conflicting measures of habitability, a situation not much different than today for astrobiologists. Our research group is leading the application of the ecologists’ nearly four decades of experience in modeling habitability on Earth to the astrobiological field. These models can be used to characterize the spatial and temporal distribution of habitable environments, identify regions of interest in the search for life, and, eventually, explore correlations between habitability and biosignatures.


Méndez, A., Rivera-Valentín, E. G., Schulze-Makuch, D., Filiberto, J., Ramírez, R., Wood, T. E., Dávila, A., McKay, C., Oritz Ceballos, K. N., Jusino-Maldonado, M., Torres-Santiago, N., Nery, G., Heller, R., Byrne, P., Malaska, M. J., Nathan, E., Simões, M. F., Antunes, A., Martínez-Frías, J., Carone, L., Izenberg, N. R., Atri, D., Carvajal Chitty, H. I., Nowajewski-Barra, P., Rivera-Hernández, F., Brown, C., Lynch, K., Catling, D., Zuluaga, J. I., Salazar, J. F., Chen, H., González, G., Kashyap Jagadeesh, M., Haqq-Misra, J. (2021). Habitability Models for Astrobiology. Astrobiology, 21, 10. (in press)