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Antarctic Lecture: Joel Singley, “Spiraling Downstream”
September 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Spiraling Downstream: How Microbes Grapple for Nitrogen in an Antarctic Stream
Joel Singley- Doctoral Student, University of Colorado Boulder
For a few weeks each Austral summer, small ephemeral streams flow through the McMurdo Dry Valleys, an extreme polar desert in Antarctica. These streams are home to rich microbial communities, including algal mats that carpet the streambed in bright oranges and greens. In addition to surviving most of the year in a freeze-dried state, these microbes must content with low concentrations of essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, and intermittent food pulses, which threaten to scour them away. We will examine how nitrogen spirals downstream through different microbial communities in this unforgiving environment allowing life to persist.