Science of Early Life
November 18 - 20, 2019
Kloster Seeon 2019

Conference Chairs: Thomas Henning & Oliver Trapp

Science of Early Life Conference 2019 Scientific Program Submit an Abstract Venue Registration



This interdisciplinary conference will present leading research in the Origins of Life, covering experimental, observational, and theoretical aspects.

Topics of the conference cover:
  • Astrochemistry

  • Prebiotic Chemistry

  • DNA and RNA Chemistry

  • Molecular Evolution

  • Non-equilibrium Chemistry, "Matter to Life”

  • Chirality

  • Computational and Mathematical Modelling

  • Geology and Chemistry


Scientific Program

Confirmed Speakers:

James Attwater, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Dieter Braun, Department of Physics, LMU Munich, Germany

Thomas Carell, Department of Chemistry, LMU Munich, Germany
Michele Fiore, Universite de Lyon, France
Daniele Fulvio, Departamento de Física, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Paul Higgs, Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University  Hamilton, Canada
Bill Martin, Institute of Molecular Evolution, Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf, Germany
Cornelia Meinert, Institut de Chimie, University Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
Joseph Moran, Laboratory of Chemical Catalysis, Institut de Science et d’Ingenierie Supramoleculaires, Strasbourg, France
Matt Powner, UCL, London, United Kingdom
Ralph Pudritz, Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University  Hamilton, Canada
Mario Trieloff, Institut fuer Geowissenschaften, University Heidelberg, Germany
Wolfgang Weigand, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany


Monday November 18th 2019

9:00     Registration opens

9:30     Opening of the Conference

Session A: Metabolism & Protocells

9:40 – 10:10

Joseph Moran                                                                                      

Triangulating the conditions for self-organization of the primordial metabolism


10:10 – 10:40

Ralph E. Pudritz, Maikel Reihnstadter, Renée-Claude Bider, and Sebastian Himbert                                                                              

The Origin of Protocells: Experiments with the Planet Simulator at McMaster’s Origins of Life Laboratory


10:40 – 11:10

Coffee Break


Session B: Geochemistry

11:10 – 11:40

William F. Martin, Martina Preiner                                                           

A hydrogen dependent geochemical analog of primordial carbon and energy metabolism


11:40 – 12:10

Mario Trieloff                                                                                       

Acquisition of Terrestrial Volatiles and Early Earth Habitability


Round-Table Discussion

12:10 – 12:40

Discussion with Speakers of Sessions A & B


12:40 – 14:00



Session C: Extraterrestrial Chemistry and Physics

14:00 – 14:30

Gesa H.-M Bertrang, Dmitry Semenov et al.                                              

Environments of planet formation



Ben K. D. Pearce, Karan Molaverdikhani, Ralph E. Pudritz, Thomas Henning, Eric Hébrard                               

Biogenic Worlds: How HCN is Produced in Titan’s Atmosphere


15:00 – 15:30

Short presentation of posters – Part 1


15:30 – 16:00

Coffee Break


Session D: Non-equilibrium Chemistry/ Reaction Networks

16:00 – 16:30

Charalampos G. Pappas, Pradeep Mandal, Bin Liu, Ivan Huc and Sijbren Otto                                                                                                          

Spontaneous Emergence of Complex Folded Macromolecules from Dynamic Homomeric Sequences


16:30 – 17:00

Christof Mast and Dieter Braun                                                             

Microscale nonequilibria to drive the emergence of life


17:00 – 17:30

Oliver R. Maguire, Albert S. Y. Wong, Mathieu G. Baltussen, Iris B. A. Smokers, William Robinson, Elena Daines, Peer van Duppen, Bob van Sluijs, Aleksandr A. Pogodaev, Wilhelm T. S. Huck                                                                  

Constructing Prebiotic Reaction Networks


Round-Table Discussion

17:30 – 18:00

Discussion with Speakers of Sessions C & D


18:15 – 20.00


Tuesday November 19th 2019

Session E: Prebiotic Chemistry

9:00 –   9:30

Matthew W. Powner                                                                 

On the Chemical Origins of Peptides


9:30 – 10:00

Michele Fiore                                                                                                          

Phosphorylation reactions under plausible prebiotic conditions


10:00 – 10:30

Wolfgang Weigand, Mario Grosch, Robert Bolney, Sophia Peters, Alexander Siegle, Megan Newcomb, Oliver Trapp, Markus Ribbe, Christian Robl         

Formation and Reactivity of Mackinawite under potentially primordial Conditions


10:30 – 11:00

Coffee Break


Session F: RNA & DNA

11:00 – 11:30

Thomas Carell                                                                       

The prebiotic origin of RNA building blocks on early Earth


11:30 – 12:00

Daniel Whitaker, Matthew Powner                                                  

Chemoselective synthesis of 3'-amino-threonucleotides


12:00 – 12:30

Paul G Higgs, Andrew S Tupper, Vismay Shah                                    

Double Strands and Rolling Circles in the RNA World


Round-Table Discussion

12:30 – 13:00

Discussion with Speakers of Sessions E & F


13:00 – 14:00



Session G: DNA, Amino Acids, Sugars & Chirality

14:00 – 14:30

Oliver Trapp                                                                                          

Direct Prebiotic Synthesis of DNA Building Blocks: Stereochemical Perspectives and Pathways to Homochirality



Cornelia Meinert                                                                                     

Chiral molecules in interstellar space: detection and symmetry characterization


15:00 – 15:30

Short presentation of posters – Part 2


15:30 – 16:00

Coffee Break & Posters

16:00 – 18:00

Poster Session

18:15 – 20.00


Wednesday November 20th 2019

Session H: Replication & Computation Exploration of the Chemical Space

9:00 –   9:30

James Attwater, Aditya Raguram, Philipp Holliger                                   

Substrate-assisted replication of RNA


9:30 – 10:00

Markus Meringer, H. James Cleaves                                                

Computational Exploration of the Chemical Space Surrounding the Molecules of Life 


10:00 – 10:30

Coffee Break


Session I:  Extraterrestrial Chemistry and Physics

10:30 – 11:00

Cornelia Jäger, Alexey Potapov, Serge Krasnokutski, Gaël Rouillé, Ko-Ju Chuang, and Daniele Fulvio                                                           

Experiments on Astrobiology at Low Temperatures


11:00 – 11:30

Daniele Fulvio                                                                                        

Laboratory Astrophysics: The Next “Big-Step”


Round-Table Discussion

11:30 – 12:00

Discussion with Speakers of Sessions G, H & I


Closing of the Conference

12:15 – 14:00



Submit an Abstract

Submissions of abstracts for oral and poster presentations covering all aspects of Origins of Life are welcome. We are striving to ensure the broadest possible coverage of recent advances. In order for the scientific committee to develop appropriate oral and poster sessions for the program, we strongly encourage you to submit an abstract online through this website. Please note that you need to be registered for the conference in order to make a valid contribution.

Abstract submissions are will be accepted online for both oral and poster abstracts. Please use the following template (Rich Text Format, *.rtf) and email your completed submission to on or before November 1st 2019.

Abstract submission has closed

 Abstracts will only be accepted for registered participants.

The size of the poster board will be 130 cm (height) x 100 cm (width). The presenters may display their posters from Monday, November 18th 9 am until Wednesday, November 20th at 3 pm. Any material remaining after that time will be discarded.

Boards and posters will be numbered according to the abstract number found in this book. Appropriate mounting material is provided by the organizers and can be obtained from the conference desk.

Presenting poster authors are requested to prepare two summarizing slides for the poster short presentations on Monday and Tuesday.



The conference takes place at Kloster Seeon, a former Benedictine monastery with state-of-the-art equipment and a ***Superior Hotel in Upper Bavaria.


How to get there:

By airplane and train

Next airports are Munich and Salzburg, convenient train connections exist.
Please take a train to the station Bad Endorf or Traunstein, then continue by taxi.

As a member of the TOP 250 German conference hotels, Kloster Seeon can offer you particularly favourable train tickets online for your arrival and departure to the Sience of Early Life Conference 2019.

Book Train Connection

By car
from highway A8 coming from Munich:
exit 106 Bernau via Prien, Rimsting, Eggstätt, Roitham
or via Prien, Rimsting, Breitbrunn, Gstadt, Seebruck

from the B304 coming from Munich:
via Ebersberg, Wasserburg, Obing

from highway A8 coming from Salzburg:
exit 109 Grabenstätt via Chieming, Seebruck


Please register for the conference by completing the following registration form. You will recive a confirmation if your registration has been accepted.

Registration has closed