How did light give rise to life on Earth?

CIFAR's Global Call for Ideas invited applicants from all over the world to propose an important research question they want to address. We chose 12 finalists, and will announce the final selection in May. Find out more about this finalist.

Almost all of life on Earth is powered by photosynthesis, as plants convert sunlight to food and are then eaten by other organisms. This program will explore how the transition from basic chemistry and physics to light-harvesting organisms happened in the first place. Answering the question could generate new knowledge and technologies, such as new forms of green energy and improvements to agriculture, that could feed and power the world without polluting the atmosphere.


  •   Kurt Konhauser is a professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at the University of Alberta.
  Paul Falkowski is a professor of marine and coastal sciences at Rutgers University.

Find out more about the other short-listed Global Call proposals