Research

Eddie giving a plenary presentation at Abscicon 2019= Eddie at the controls of the 1.1m
  Hall Telescope at Lowell Observatory's Anderson Mesa site
I'm an Assistant Professor of Astrobiology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. I'm also a member of the UCR Alternative Earths Team led by Dr. Timothy Lyons, the Virtual Planetary Laboratory led by Dr. Victoria Meadows, and the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science. My research interests and activities include studying Earth as an exoplanet (throughout geologic time); determining planetary properties from disk-integrated spectra; climate, photochemical, and radiative transfer modeling of terrestial planet atmospheres; and generating synthetic spectra of model exoplanets. I'm particularly interested in work that can inform our ability to characterize Earth-sized planets that reside in the habitable zones of their host stars, especially in search of remotely detectable biosignatures. Recently I have been active in advancing work that suggests the interplay between planetary climate, carbon cycling, and chemistry may put meaningful limits on the size of the habitable zone where advanced life (like animals and humans) may exist.

If you would like to know more you can check out my CV (updated July 2020). Here's my author entry on NASA ADS (Astrophysics Data System) and my ResearchGate profile.

Selected Publications


  • Ranjan, S., Schwieterman, E. W., et al. 2020. Photochemistry of Anoxic Abiotic Habitable Planet Atmospheres: Impact of New H2O Cross Sections. The Astrophysical Journal, 896(2), 148. [ADS] [ApJ]

  • Haqq-Misra, J., Kopparapu, R. K., & Schwieterman, E. 2020. Observational Constraints on the Great Filter. Astrobiology, 20(5), 572–579. [ADS] [Astrobiology]

  • Fauchez, T. J., Villanueva, G. L., Schwieterman, E. W., et al. 2020. Sensitive probing of exoplanetary oxygen via mid-infrared collisional absorption. Nature Astronomy, 4(4), 372–376. [ADS] [Nature Astronomy] Media: [UCR Press Release] [NASA Release] [CNN]

  • *Schwieterman, E. W., Reinhard, C. T., Olson, S. L., Harman, C.E., Lyons, T.W. 2019b. A limited habitable zone for complex life. The Astrophysical Journal, 878:19. [ADS] [ApJ] Media: [UCR Press Release] [NASA Press Release] [NASA Science Nugget] [AAS Nova] [Space.com] *Note: This was one of ApJ's most downloaded papers in 2019!

  • *Schwieterman, E.W., Reinhard, C.T., Olson, S.L., Ozaki, K., Harman, C.E., Hong, P.K. & Lyons, T.W. 2019a. Rethinking CO antibiosignatures in the search for life beyond the solar system. The Astrophysical Journal, 874:9. [ADS] [ApJ] Media: [UCR Press Release] [NASA Science Nugget] [AAS Nova] [Space.com] *Note: This was one of ApJ's most downloaded papers in 2019!

  • Glenar, D.A., Stubbs, T.J., Schwieterman, E.W., Robinson, T.D., Livengood, T.A., 2019. Earthshine as an illumination source at the Moon. Icarus, 321:841-856. [ADS] [Icarus]

  • DasSarma, S.D. & Schwieterman, E. W. 2018. Early Evolution of Purple Retinal Pigments on Earth and Implications for Exoplanet Biosignatures. International Journal of Astrobiology, 1-10. [ADS] [IJA]

  • *Schwieterman, E.W. Kiang, N.Y., Parenteau, M.N., Harman, C.E., DasSarma, S., Fisher, T.M., Arney, G.N., Hartnett, H.E., Reinhard, C.T., Olson, S.L., Meadows, V.S., Cockell, C.S., Walker, S.I., Grenfell, J.L., Hegde, S., Rugheimer, S., Hu, R., Lyons, T.W., 2018. Exoplanet Biosignatures: A Review of Remotely Detectable Signs of Life. Astrobiology, 18(6), 663-708. arXiv preprint 1705.05791. [ADS][arXiv]

  • Meadows, V.S., Arney, G.N., Schwieterman, E.W. et al. 2018. The Habitability of Proxima Centauri b: Environmental States and Observational Discriminants Astrobiology, 18(2). doi: 10.1089/ast.2016.1589 [ADS][Astrobiology]

  • Olson, S.L., Schwieterman, E.W., Reinhard, C.T., Ridgwell, A., Kane, S.R., Meadows, V.S., and Lyons, T.W., 2018, Atmospheric seasonality as an exoplanet biosignature: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 858, L14. [ADS] [ApJL]

  • Reinhard, C.T., Olson, S.L., Schwieterman, E.W., Lyons, T.W., 2017. False Negatives for Remote Life Detection on Ocean-Bearing Planets: Lessons from the Early Earth. Astrobiology 17, 287–297. [ADS] [Astrobiology]

  • Schwieterman, E.W., Meadows, V.S., Domagal-Goldman, S.D., Deming, D., Arney, A.N., Luger, R., Harman, C., Misra, M., Barnes, R. 2016. Identifying Planetary Biosignature Impostors: Spectral Features of CO and O4 Resulting from Abiotic O2/O3 Production. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 819:L13. [ADS][ApJ]

  • Krissansen-Totton, J., Schwieterman, E.W., Charnay, B., Arney, G., Robinson, T.D., Meadows, V., Catling, D. 2016. Is the Pale Blue Dot Unique? Optimized photometric bands for identifying Earth-like exoplanets. The Astrophysical Journal, 817:31.[ADS] [ApJL]

  • Schwieterman, E.W., Robinson, T.D., Meadows, V.S., Misra, A., Domagal-Goldman, S.D. 2015. Detecting and Constraining N2 Abundances in Planetary Atmospheres Using Collisional Pairs. The Astrophysical Journal, 810:57. [ADS] [ApJ]

  • Harman, C.E., Schwieterman, E.W., Schottelkotte, J.C., Kasting, J.F. 2015. Abiotic O2 Levels on Planets around F, G, K, and M Stars: Possible False Positives for Life? The Astrophysical Journal, 812:137.[ADS] [ApJ]

  • Schwieterman, E.W., Cockell, C.S., Meadows, V.S. 2015. Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures. Astrobiology, 15(5): 341-361. [ADS] [Astrobiology] [PDF]

  • Amador, E.S., Cable, M.C, Chaundry, N., Cullen, T., Gentry, D., Jacobsen, M.B., Murukesan, G., Schwieterman, E.W., Stevens, A.H., Stockton, A., Yin, C., Cullen, D.C., Geppert, W. 2015. Synchronous in-field application of life-detection techniques in planetary analog missions. Planetary and Space Sciences, 106: 1-10. [ADS][Science Direct]

  • Robinson, T.D.; Ennico, K.; Meadows, V.S.; Sparks, W.; Bussey; D.B.J.; Schwieterman; E.W.; Breiner, J. 2014. Detection of Ocean Glint and Ozone Absorption Using LCROSS Earth Observations. The Astrophysical Journal. [ADS]

  • Knight, M.M., Schleicher, D.G., Farnham, T.L., Schwieterman, E.W., Christensen, S.R. 2012. A Quarter-Century of Observations of Comet 10P/Tempel 2 at Lowell Observatory: Continued Spin-Down, Coma Morphology, Production Rates, and Numerical Modeling. The Astronomical Journal 144:153. [ADS]

  • Meech, K.J., and 191 colleagues (including Schwieterman, E.W.) 2011. EPOXI: Observations from a Worldwide Earth-Based Campaign. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 734:L1. [ADS]

  • Knight, M.M., Farnham, T.L., Schleicher, D.G., Schwieterman, E.W. 2011. The Increasing Rotation Period of Comet 10P/Tempel 2. The Astronomical Journal 141:2. [ADS]

  • Knight, M., Schwieterman, E., Schleicher, D. 2010. Comet 103P/Hartley. IAU Circ. 9163. [ADS]

  • Schwieterman, E. W., Wood, M.A., Piwowar, D., Patterson, J., Rea, R., Monard, B., Krajci, T., Bolt, G., Roberts, G., Foote, J., McCormick, J. 2010. Time-Series Photometry of GW Librae One Year after Outburst. Journal of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy. Vol 3. [ADS] [JSARA]

  • Addison, B. C., Durrance, S.T., Vennes, S., Schwieterman, E.W., Nickerson, D. 2010. Modeling and Observing Extrasolar Planetary Transits. Journal of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy, Vol 3. [ADS]

  • Piwowar, D., Wood, M.A., Schwieterman, E.W., Patterson, J., Monard, B., Rea, R., Starkey, D., Roberts, G. 2010. Time-Series Photometry of the Cataclysmic Variable Systems VY Aquarii and V2491 Cygni. Journal of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy, Vol 3. [ADS]