Monday, June 15th, 2:00PM
Location: Revelle 4301
PhD Candidate, Environmental Microbiology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Relict marine influences on contemporary microbial processes in Subglacial Lake Whillans, West Antarctica
Subglacial environments beneath the Antarctic ice sheets have been hypothesized to contain a significant pool of biomass and biogeochemically and climatically relevant gases, such as methane. Direct sampling of Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW), which lies 800 m beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, revealed that this environment harbors a metabolically active microbial ecosystem. This subglacial microbial ecosystem may be using relict marine carbon deposited during past interglacial periods, when much of West Antarctica was exposed to open ocean conditions, to fuel growth. Connections between legacy marine influences and microbial metabolisms that affect global biogeochemical cycles will be discussed.