External Professor

Juan Pérez-Mercader earned his Ph.D. from the City College of New York. He is an Elected Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 in Association with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, he founded Spain's Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) of which he was its first Director. He is the architect of Spain's current participation with infrastructure and instrumentation on board Mars Science Laboratory that arrived on Mars in August 2012. He is Profesor de Investigación in Spain's National Research Council (CSIC) and an External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. In 2010, he joined Harvard as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the university's Origins of Life Initiative, where he leads a project on the "Top-down Synthesis of an Ex-novo Chemical Artificial Living System".

Research Interests: Physics of Self-organizing Behavior, Information in Non-equilibrium Physico-chemical Systems, Chemical Computation, Origins of Life, Theoretical Biology and Life Detection.

Areas of Expertise: Quantum Field Theory, Dynamical Renormalization Group, Decoupling and Scaling Phenomena in Multiscale Systems, Information and Complexity in Chemical and Biological Systems, Micro-array Engineering, Communication Engineering, Astrobiology and Planetary Exploration