About me

Hi! I’m Eloi (pronounced /əˈlɔɪ/, as in a metal alloy).

I’m interested in understanding life’s emergence, evolution, and distribution. My passion is to help unveil how life emerges on a planetary body, design strategies for its detection, and ultimately understand why life – as a phenomenon – exists.

I’m a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Astrobiochemistry at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). I’m originally from Barcelona (Spain), and have worked in Tokyo (Japan), Utrecht (Netherlands), and London (UK). I feel very lucky to have gathered a rich network of colleagues across the years, with whom I collaborate to this day.

I hold two B.S. degrees – in biology and in biochemistry – from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). I completed a Masters of Research in molecular biophysics at University College London (UK), and obtained my PhD in chemistry – under the mentorship of Profs. Nick Lane and John Ward – also at UCL. I’m an awardee of the University of Texas System’s STARs Program (US) and of the Human Frontier Science Program (international), and a former research fellow of ‘la Caixa’ Foundation (Spain) and the Origins Center (Netherlands).

I teach a course on Astrobiolgy at UTRGV (CHEM 4306) – at a junior/senior undergraduate level in spring, and at graduate level in fall. The course covers a wide range of topics (from biology to planetary sciences and everything in between) and serves as a window for my students to start pondering about life in a universal context.

My lab focuses on prebiotic chemistry – particularly on autocatalytic and pre-genetic evolutionary proceses – and on chemical biosignatures for space exploration. I enjoy working in an interdisciplinary way – with a joint appointment in UTRGV’s Departments of Biology and Chemistry – and with a diverse range of people. I’m proud of having supervised a total of 13 research students so far. I like being challenged and am always looking for opportunities to meet new people and discussing fresh approaches. Let’s get in touch!

I discuss my mentoring philosophy in this video by PhD Insiders:
Want more research details? Go to research or listen to this: