Associate Professor Charles H. Lineweaver


Charles H. Lineweaver is the coordinator of the Austrailian National University’s Planetary Science Institute and holds a joint appointment as an associate professor in the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Research School of Earth Sciences.He obtained an undergraduate degree in physics from Ludwig Maximillians Universitat, Munich, Germany and a PhD in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley.

He was a member of the COBE satellite team, led by George Smoot (2006 Physics Nobel Prize), that discovered the temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background.Before his appointment at ANU, he held post-doctoral positions at Strasbourg Observatory and the University of New South Wales where he taught one of the most popular general studies courses "Are We Alone?"

His research areas include cosmology (determination of the age and composition of the universe) exoplanetology (the statistical analysis of exoplanets) and astrobiology ( using our new knowledge of cosmology to constrain life in the Universe). His research has been published in Science, Nature, the Astrophysical Journal, Astrobiology, Scientific American, American Journal of Physics, and Microbiology Australia.

He is the son of a high school biology teacher and has lived in or traveled through 62 countries, speaks 4 languages and was a semi-professional soccer player in Germany.Personal homepage:


Lecture 16: Cosmobiology: Our Place in the Universeby Associate Professor Charles Lineweaver

Here we sit on a ball of silicate with beating hearts, opposable thumbs and curious minds. How did we get here? How did the evolution of non-living things, such as galaxies, stars and planets, create the ingredients and the conditions for the emergence of life? Which aspects of this evolution are unique to the Earth and which are common in the universe? Are we alone? These cosmobiological questions are sharpened and partially answered by the overview presented here.

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