» Microbial ecology

Red Layer Microbial Observatory

Extreme temperature (45-60°C) microbial communities such as those thriving in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park are hypothesized to be modern analogues to the most ancient forms of life on earth. Evidence of stromatolites resembling modern mats exists from at least 3.6 billion years ago [Schopf and Packer, 1987]. Read More

Research Methods: (A Novice's Guide to Research Techniques Used in Microbiology)

This Resource is Designed to Help You – * Read science news and research articles. * Understand science seminars outside of your discipline. * Talk intelligently to colleagues across campus. * Design and implement research projects employing new techniques. Read More

Microbial Life in Marine Environments

Microbes account for more than 90% of ocean biomass and constitute a hidden majority of life that flourishes in the sea. What is even more surprising is that much of this microbial life remains unknown because we cannot culture it in a test tube and it is difficult to observe in nature. Read More

The Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Future

A 13-page report on the management of wastewater today and innovative technology for the future. Notebook: Scientific Chronicles, 17 Read More

North Inlet Microbial Observatory (NIMO)

The diazotrophic (nitrogen fixing) Bacteria are extraordinarily diverse and apart from a few select groups are very poorly characterized. Diazotrophs associated with the roots of non-crop plant species are particularly understudied. The North Inlet Microbial Observatory (NIMO) focuses on diazotrophs in a salt marsh ecosystem. This system is characterized by strong zonation patterns of a very limited number of plant species growing along distinct environmental gradients. It also harbors a great diversity of plant root-associated diazotrophs, many of which appear to be novel taxa. The zonation patterns and biota of salt marshes provide a unique opportunity to explore the diversity and distribution patterns of this key bacterial group, and to evaluate the underlying environmental parameters that control diversity, and distributions of the active diazotrophs. Read More

Collaborative Research: Microbial Diversity and Function in the Permanently Ice-Covered Lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

The dry valleys of Antarctica form the coldest, driest, and windiest ecosystems known. Robert Falcon Scott, one of the earliest explorers of the McMurdo region of Antarctica, referred to the McMurdo Dry Valleys as the “Valley of the Dead” during his first visit in 1903. Recent studies in Antarctica have yielded new information about the presence of microbial life in soils, sandstones, melt water ponds, and the ice and liquid water columns of permanently ice-covered lakes, proving that the valleys are not dead as Scott had believed. Most of the microorganisms found in these habitats are prokaryotic and thrive in what would otherwise appear to be an inhospitable environment. Read More

Octopus Spring

Octopus Spring is a partially alkaline, low-carbonate, low-sulfur hot spring located in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. It is home to a variety of thermophiles, as well as a colorful array of microbial mat communities. Read More

Bring 'em Back Alive !

Bring ’em Back Alive is a series of activities that demonstrate various techniques for capturing free-living microbes from the environment. The series is part of Living in the Microbial World, a Teacher Enhancement Workshop held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Read More

Protistan Tales of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps

Protistan Tales of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps is a WebQuest that combines science and literacy to bring the microbes of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps to life. Through the use of antrhopomorphism, students develop oral and illustrated short stories dedicated to enhancing awareness of these organisms. Read More

Living in an Alkaline Environment

Living in an Alkaline Environment is a three-part activity that explores the ecology and diversity of life in alkaline environments. Living in an Alkaline Environment is a three-part activity that explores the ecology and diversity of life in alkaline environments. It can be downloaded as a Word (Microsoft Word 124kB Apr29 05) document or accessed by using the left-hand navigation and provided links below. Read More


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