ERC grant for research on the origin of life

Nordic Center for Earth Evolution (NordCEE) postdoc Ernest Chi Fru based at Stockholm University has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for research in arsenic speciation linked to the origin of life. The grant amounts to almost 1.5 million euros over a five year-period.

In his project, Fru will examine the distribution of the arsenic in the world’s oceans two to three billion years ago, and how arsenic has affected the evolution of life. Bedside increasing our knowledge about the evolution of life here on Earth, the research will also be relevant to astrobiology and the study of how life can arise on other planets similar to Earth.

In addition the research will explain the formation of sediments with high arsenic concentrations, which today is the source of arsenic contamination of groundwater, which affects millions of people in parts of Asia, South and North America and Africa.

For more information see Stockholm University’s website