Are you interested in researching some of the big questions and wicked problems concerning the origin of life on Earth? If so, come and have a yarn about possibilities for a project. You should have a background in applied mathematics or statistics, with some knowledge of chemistry, biology, biophysics, or chemical engineering.
Why is origin of life research important? Well, I look at it this way:
Given our track record in creating havoc on Earth, perhaps evolution made its biggest stuffup when it evolved humans. But maybe not, after all. Despite all the damage we cause, we can innovate, experiment, explore, interpret, classify and document. In the deep future, the evolution and fate of the universe itself may be moderated profoundly by life, just as life has extensively shaped the Earth - in other words, there may well be a universe-wide Gaia principle. For the record, then, for the sake of future life that may infest and shape extraterrestrial worlds, and will likely want to know, I feel it is incumbent upon us at this stage of life's evolution to document, as best we can, the time, place and mechanism of life's origin. Plus, there may be some biotech applications!