In the Spring of 2019, the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery hosted a public lecture series to highlight advances in Origins of Life, Artificial Life, & Astrobiology (OoLALA) research and featured presentations by four experts in the field. The events collectively represented the breadth of OoLALA by including discussions on the search for the underlying physics of life, building artificial cells, rewinding and replaying life’s evolution on Earth, and exploring how we can detect signs of life on distant planets by studying their atmospheres. During their visits, each of the speakers had the opportunity to interact with UW-Madison students, staff, and faculty, and forged connections to the growing OoLALA presence here on campus. We thank the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, and the UW-Madison Departments of Astronomy and Chemical and Biological Engineering for their support, and our featured speakers for their participation in the inaugural OoLALA Research Showcase. We hope that future installments will be made possible (to suggest potential speakers, please contact Lena Vincent at For more information on the Spring 2019 Showcase:


Recordings of the events can be viewed here.