I graduated from Oxford University with a First Class degree in Biology and completed my PhD at University College London in 2007. I am currently a UK Space Agency research Fellow in the Space Research Centre at University of Leicester, working in the field of astrobiology and the search for life on Mars. My focus is on hardy ‘extremophile’ microbes and their biosignatures (signs of past or present life), and how well these would persist in the harsh martian environment — in particular when exposed for long periods to the ionising radiation of the cosmic rays.
I also hold a STFC Science in Society Fellowship and am very active in delivering live events at schools and science festivals, and working as a scientific consultant for the media. I have appeared in numerous radio shows and TV documentaries, including BBC Horizon, Wonders of the Universe and StargazingLive. I have won several awards for my science writing and outreach work and regularly freelance for newspapers and magazine articles, and have published three books. See www.lewisdartnell.com for further details
Dartnell, L.R, Roberts, T., Moore, G., Ward, J., and Muller, J.-P. (2013) Fluorescence Characterization of Clinically-Important Bacteria. PLoS ONE 8:e75270.
Dartnell, L.R., Page, K., Villar, S.J., Wright, G., Munshi, T., Scowen, I., Ward, J., and Edwards, H. (2012) Destruction of Raman biosignatures by ionising radiation and the implications for life-detection on Mars. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 403:131-144.
* This publication was selected by the journal editors as a ‘Paper In Forefront’
Dartnell, L.R. (2011) Ionizing Radiation and Life. Astrobiology 11:551-582.
Dartnell, L.R., Hunter, S., Lovell, K., Coates, A., and Ward, J. (2010) Low-Temperature Ionizing Radiation Resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans and Antarctic Dry Valley Bacteria. Astrobiology 10:717-732.
* This paper was selected as a key article by the journal editor and so offered as Open Access
Dartnell, L.R., Desorgher, L., Ward, J., and Coates, A. (2007) Modelling the surface and subsurface Martian radiation environment: Implications for Astrobiology. Geophysical Research Letters 34:L02207.
* This paper was selected by the editors for a ‘Special Highlight’ in the journal
For full publications listing and downloadable pdfs of the above please see www.lewisdartnell.com