Origins Forum - "Peering into the lives of microbes: Lessons on the limits of life from deep sea microbes”


Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Geological Museum, Haller Hall (Room 102), 24 Oxford Street

Peter Girguis
Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University

Microbes are, unquestionably, the most critical members of our biosphere. They exist in every habitat, playing a role in mediating atmospheric and ocean composition and governing elemental cycles in soils and sediments. The last two decades have been a watershed for  microbiology, with major advances in genomic sequencing and other technologies that have fundamentally changed our view of microbial diversity and evolution. However, our understanding of what microbes are doing in nature –in particular the degree to which they influence biogeochemical cycles– is still in its infancy.  My lab's research is aimed at better understanding microbial activity through in situ and laboratory studies. To that end we develop  technologies that allow us to better relate microbial activity to the environment, such as underwater mass spectrometers and stable isotope analyzers.




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