Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology researcher at University College London looking into the possibility of microbial life surviving on the surface of Mars. Lewis started out with a Biology degree at Oxford before moving on to a PhD at UCL's interdisciplinary centre, CoMPLEX, and learning more about high-energy physics and computer programming than is probably healthy. Alongside his research Lewis writes freelance science articles for newspapers and magazines, including The Times and BBC Sky at Night magazine, and in 2007 published a popular science book introducing astrobiology, "Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide". He has also performed outreach work and talks at the National Space Centre, the Museum of Science and Industry and Cheltenham Science Festival, which resulted in press and radio coverage. Lewis still finds the hunt for alien life about the most thrilling thing imaginable, his research and lecturing have taken him all over the world, and at a conference in Finland last year he found himself discussing the origins of life on Earth in an oppressively hot sauna with twenty naked sweating professors...
Freelances regularly for newspapers and magazines such as New Scientist, and has published a popular science book, 'Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide'
Has given public lectures and organised hands-on science events at a range of institutions, science centres, festivals and schools
Worked for 6 months during 2008 producing the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with Professor Chris Bishop, and associated website
TV and radio interviews on topics including astrobiology and space exploration. Guardian online podcast and blog on astrobiology