What's New

Posted by: Dani
Monday, June 30, 2014 - 07:08

Bonjour! For the last few days, I have been working in the lab of Isabelle Daniel in beautiful Lyon, France. I am here not just for the wine and history, but to do some really exciting science as well.

Posted by: Dani
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 00:01

Melitza and I just left the annual meeting of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI).  During our stay in Marina, CA, we've had the chance to work on professional development, with a special workshop for early-career scientists, and then participate in two days of intensive scientific discussions, where we both presented our ongoing research.

Posted by: Crystal
Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 13:22

I got a chance to spend a week at our research site, the Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (CROMO), in Lower Lake California.  On this sampling trip, I ventured out into the unknown with Melitza and Katrina where we sampled all twelve of the wells. The first full sampling day was filled with learning the procedures for collecting water samples. I was responsible for collecting water samples as my project deals heavily with fixed and live samples. These water samples are used for assessing the abundance of microbes in the wells and for in-lab cultures.

Posted by: Dani
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 13:42
Yesterday I went to a place that has been visited by about as many people as the surface of the moon.  The moon has had 12 sets of human feet walk upon it.  The Beebe hydrothermal vent field, home to the deepest and hottest vents in the world, has now seen five scientists and eight pilots.  I'm writing this post aboard the Japanese research vessel Yokosuka after diving on the submersible Shinkai 6500, nicknamed 6K.  I am humbled and in awe of the sights I have just seen - there are no words to do justice to this experience, but that won't stop me from trying.
Posted by: Dani
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 14:04

The deepest known hydrothermal vents in the world are along the Mid-Cayman Spreading Center, and I have been sent along with a team of Japanese and British researchers to collect samples at this unusual site. Water temperatures have been measured over 400 °C, making these also the hottest known vents.

Posted by: Billy
Monday, August 27, 2012 - 14:34

I spent a week at the Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory in northern California, where we are monitoring subsurface microbial ecosystems associated with serpentinite rocks. Last year our collaborators drilled wells into these rocks, and we are now sampling water from these wells and characterizing the native microbial communities. 

Posted by: Katrina
Monday, August 6, 2012 - 11:15

Today Dr. Mitch Sogin gave us a tour of the Josephine Bay Paul Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory. We learned about different next-generation sequencing technologies including 454, Ion Torrent, and Illumina (pictured). These instruments allow for the high-throughput direct genetic sequencing of environmental samples. Our lab utilizes both 454 and Illumina insturments to determine the diveresity and genetic potential of our samples from extreme environments.

Posted by: Katrina
Friday, August 3, 2012 - 00:00

I am currently at Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA taking a course on analyzing sequence data entitled "Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structures" (STAMPS), During the course, I will learn how to analyze and interpret large genetic datasets using bioinformatical approaches from the experts in the field that wrote software.

Posted by: Katrina
Friday, July 6, 2012 - 17:00

We are intersted in seeing what microbes can live and grow in such a harsh environment, so we decided to put microbe traps in the high pH pool and will check back in a year to see what grew on them. In order to deploy these microbe traps, I had to go for a little swim in the pH 11 water.

Good thing I packed my bathing suit and goggles!

Posted by: Katrina
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 16:56

Another one of our Italian sampling sites requires an hour long hike along mountains down to a river bank where the high pH spring is located.  Sampling there requires lots of planning, as we have to carry all of our gear with us on the hike. The bright orange and white crusts that can be seen on the rocks are travertines, or calcium carbonate deposits, formed when the spring water interacts with air.