Zoe Todd

Position title: Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Astronomy

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email: zrtodd@wisc.edu

Research Interests

I am interested in investigating the origins of life on Earth and understanding the implications for the possibility of life on other planets. My research utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to attempt to understand how the astronomical and planetary environments may allow for the chemical/biochemical origins and evolution of life. For example, I work on constraining favorable planetary environments that may provide the chemicals necessary for origins of life. I also investigate prebiotic chemistry in the laboratory to better understand the constraints on the planetary environment and the plausibility of the chemistry. I hope to work towards tracing out a continuous and plausible path for the origins of life: from the astronomical and planetary environments seeding the necessary feedstock chemicals, to the synthesis of the building blocks of life (e.g. ribonucleotides, amino acids, or alternatives), and finally to the development of the first self-replicating and functional protocells.