Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Royal Society Research Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 6473z.martins Website




2.48Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





1. Astrobiology
2. Cosmochemistry
3. Prebiotic Chemistry
4. Organic content of carbonaceous meteorites and comets, and implications for the origin of life
5. Detection of organic compounds in space missions: 

5.1. Co-I of the OREOcube mission (ESA-ELIPS space mission experiment, which is in the implementation phase for installation on the International Space Station).
5.2 Co-I of the EXOcube mission (selected by ESA for the definition phase).

5.3 Co-leader of the Akon Europa penetrator mission proposal.

Student Supervision

  • PhD student Renato Santos, Imperial College London (2012-present).
  • PhD student Queenie Chan, Imperial College London (2008-2012).
  • PhD student Richard Matthewman, Imperial College London (2008-2011).
  • UROP Student Benedict Turner, Imperial College London (2011).
  • UROP Student Annabel Dale, Imperial College London (2010).
  • MSc student Jeff Marlow, Imperial College London (2007-2009).
  • Several undergraduate and MSc students, Leiden University, The Netherlands (2003-2005).
  • Undergraduate student, Catholic University of Nijmegen and Leiden University, The Netherlands (2003).


PhD Committee Member

  • External examiner of PhD student Barry Herschy, University of Leeds, UK (2013).
  • External examiner of PhD student Susana Direito, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2012).


  • Guest lecturer at the Space Physiology & Health MSc, King's College London, UK (2016-2017)
  • Coordinator of Module 4.41 Year 3 Environmental Seminars, Imperial College, UK (2015-present)
  • Coordinator and Lecturer of Module 2.03 Year 1 Dynamic Earth I, Imperial College, UK (2015-present)
  • Personal Tutor, Imperial College, UK (2015-present)
  • Contribution to Module 5.29 Year 4 Earth Science, Imperial College, UK (2014)
  • Invited Professor, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France (2012).
  • Academic tutorial teaching for 2nd year students (Module 3.12. Projects and Tutorial 2) on the topic of Astrobiology, Imperial College London, UK (2010-2015).
  •  Contribution to Module 4.18. Earth science synthesis 1, Imperial College London, UK (2010).

Guest Lectures

University of St Andrews, UK, 2016

7th PhD Meeting at Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (ITQB), Portugal, 2016

Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics (AOPP) seminar, University of Oxford, UK, 2016

PhD school of astrophysics “Francesco Lucchin”, Italy, 2016

i3S Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Portugal, 2016

Société Française d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique (Sf2A) workshop on “Apports exogènes et origine de la vie”, France, 2016

CECAM workshop “Atomistic simulations in prebiotic chemistry – a dialog between experiment and theory”, France, 2016

EU-Framework 7 Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action TD1308 - ORIGINS meeting, Lithuania, 2016

Faculdade de Ciencias da Universidade do Porto, Portugal, 2015

XXIX General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), USA, 2015

GABBA Symposium, Portugal, 2015

UK Space Conference, 2015

Astrobiology Workshop, Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), Taiwan, 2015

American Chemical Society (ACS), USA, 2014

UCL Symposium on the Origins of Life, UK, 2014

Fermor Meeting of the Geological Society, UK, 2014

XVII Encontro Nacional de Estudantes de Biologia, Portugal, 2014

Canadian Astrobiology Training Program (CATP), Canada, 2014

Natural History Museum (NHM), UK, 2013

Instituto Superior Técnico/Universidade de Lisboa (IST/UL), Portugal, 2013

4th MarcoPolo-R Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, 2013

Workshop on "Cosmochemistry of primitive bodies: the need for MarcoPolo-R - a European sample return space mission", Paris, France, 2012

University of Birmingham, UK, 2012

University of Birmingham, UK, 2012

Imperial College London, UK, 2012

Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai, UAB, Spain, 2012

Universite de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, 2012

Instituto Superior Tecnico/Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa, Portugal, 2012

XIII Jornadas de Biologia Aplicada(Plenary talk), Portugal, 2012

URF Research Conference(Plenary talk), UK, 2012

Origin of Life Gordon Research Conference, USA, 2012

Origin of Life Gordon Research Conference, USA, 2012

STFC Summer School in Astrobiology, UK, 2011

University of Bern, Switzerland, 2011

COSPAR Conference, Bremen, Germany, 2010

COSPAR Conference, Bremen, Germany, 2010

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA, 2005

Instituto Superior Tecnico/Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa (IST/UTL), Lisbon, Portugal, 2004