Sean Jordan (He/Him)

Associate Professor in Chemistry, Dublin City University
  • Ireland

About Sean Jordan

Dr. Seán Jordan is Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Sciences at Dublin City University (DCU). He is a leading researcher in the fields of geobiology, astrobiology, and the origins of life. As the Principal Investigator of the ProtoSigns Lab at DCU, he spearheads pioneering investigations into fundamental questions surrounding the emergence and evolution of life on Earth. He is currently a member of the Life Sciences Institute at DCU as well as the Origin of Life Early-career Network (OoLEN). 

Seán obtained his BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from DCU in 2009. Following this he gained practical experience as a research assistant in the National Centre for Sensor Research. In 2012, after a short time in Australia, he returned to DCU to complete his PhD in Biogeochemistry which was awarded in 2016. That same year he accepted a position as Postdoctoral Research Associate at University College London, investigating the first cell membranes at the origin of life. In 2021 he secured a ‘la Caixa’ Foundation Postdoctoral Junior Leader Fellowship (Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND) to pursue his work on protocells, organic biomorphs, and biosignature detection at Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal. He then joined DCU as an academic in 2023. 

Seán’s research is driven by a multidisciplinary strategy that integrates novel experimental approaches, state-of-the-art analytical techniques, and computational modelling to elucidate the complex processes that shaped early life and early Earth environments. His work delves into key aspects of prebiotic chemistry, exploring the formation of protobiomolecules and protocellular structures under plausible primordial conditions. A recipient of prestigious funding awards, including the SFI Pathway award and the European Research Council Starting Grant, Seán leads a dynamic research group focused on understanding life's origins, evolution, and existence. Through innovative experimental techniques and field expeditions to geologically significant sites, the ProtoSigns Lab is focused on pushing the boundaries of prebiotic chemistry at the origin of life, investigating how the resulting structures may be preserved in the rock record, and the potential effects this may have on our interpretation of biosignatures from the early Earth and elsewhere in our Solar System.

Intro Content

Nature Ecology & Evolution

Protocells in deep sea hydrothermal vents: another piece of the origin of life puzzle

An origin of life in deep sea hydrothermal vents has been deemed problematic due to the inability to form lipid vesicles in saline solutions. Our latest research suggests this may not be as difficult as we once thought.

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