Choice Recommended Title, August 2019
Read an exclusive interview with Professor Vera Kolb here.
Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life on Earth. This exciting and significant field of research also investigates the potential existence and search for extra-terrestrial life in the Solar System and beyond.
This is the first handbook in this burgeoning and interdisciplinary field. Edited by Vera Kolb, a highly respected astrobiologist, this comprehensive resource captures the history and current state of the field. Rich in information and easy to use, it assumes basic knowledge and provides answers to questions from practitioners and specialists in the field, as well as providing key references for further study.
Vera M. Kolb earned a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MS in organic chemistry from Belgrade University, followed by a PhD in organic chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She was a Chemistry Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside from 1985-2016, and is now a Professor Emeritus. During her first sabbatical leave (1992-1994) she received training in astrobiology (then termed exobiology) at the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) in San Diego, where she has worked with Leslie Orgel at the Salk Institute, and Stanley Miller, at the University of California San Diego.
She has worked in the field of astrobiology ever since. In 1992 she received the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity. During her second sabbatical (2002-2003) she studied sugar organo-silicates and their astrobiological importance with Joseph Lambert, at Northwestern University. She was inducted in the Southeastern Wisconsin Educators’ Hall of Fame in 2002. She is a recipient of numerous research and higher education grants and awards from the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium/NASA, among others. At this time, she has published over 150 articles, including patents and books, in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and astrobiology.
She has edited a book "Astrobiology, An Evolutionary Approach", for CRC Press, which was published in 2014. Her second book, "Green Organic Chemistry and its Interdisciplinary Applications", was published in 2016, also by CRC Press. Since both astrobiology and green chemistry study organic reactions in water, as in the primordial soup for astrobiology and as a benign solvent in green chemistry, the relationship between these two fields speaks of their true interdisciplinary characters.