1. Russian Astrobiology Center (RAC)

    Anatoli Pavlov
    Director, RAC
    A.F. Ioffe Physical & Technical Institute
    Russian Academy of Science
    St. Petersburg, Russia

    About the Russian Astrobiology Center

    The Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), the Cytology Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, and the St. Petersburg Polytechnical State University (SPSU) form the core of the Russian Astrobiology Center (RAC). The RAC is administered from the Cosmic Research Department of St. Petersburg Polytechnical State University. The purpose of the RAC is to provide a single organization through which all of the astrobiology research, teaching and outreach in St. Petersburg can be coordinated.

    The main scientific projects of the RAC are:

    1. Factors affecting the migration of life through the Solar System and beyond
    2. The interaction of the Solar System with high-density interstellar clouds
    3. Research into the geochemical records of the late accretion events, and their possible correlation with biogenic activity in ancient rocks
    4. Cooperative research between the Biosciences and the Geosciences on the spatial and temporal limits of the deep cold biosphere on and beyond the Earth, and as it relates to our understanding of habitability throughout our Solar System
    5. Study of the earliest stages of pre-biotic chemical evolution, and the formation of organic material on the surface of small Solar System bodies.

    Activities of the RAC include:

    1. Coordination of research: The RAC integrates numerous individual research programs into a single astrobiology program. The RAC also organizes collaborative, interdisciplinary research of its members from different departments and institutions. Limiting funding is also available from the RAC to support an individual’s project when it is critical for the program overall. The RAC is responsible for the financial oversight of the individual research projects funded through the RAC program.
    2. Coordination of teaching: The RAC organizes Astrobiology courses for general students attending SPSU, including those participating in specialized physical and mathematical programs founded by the RAS and SPSU. Members of the RAC also develop and present lectures in astrobiology to other institutions throughout St. Petersburg. Astrobiology teaching and research programs are also organized at the graduate-student level at SPSU, using facilities of the RAC and laboratories of the RAC participants.
    3. Astrobiology colloquiums and workshops: Speakers and participants include RAC members, as well as national and international scientists interested in astrobiology.