The Microbial Diversity of Yellowstone Hot Springs

Dates: March 28, 2022

Meets: M from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Location: Museum of the Rockies

Cost: $0.00
None Entered: $0.00

Enrollment requires a 2021 - 2022 OLLI at MSU Membership

The Yellowstone Supervolcano created conditions similar to those that likely supported life on early Earth. We'll explore the subsurface geological processes that generate the dynamic hydrothermal system in Yellowstone, including its more than 10,000 unique surface springs, fumaroles, geysers, and mud pots. You'll learn how the unique geochemical conditions hot springs develop and how they lead to patterns in the distribution of microbial biodiversity. Participants will have an opportunity to "test" their ability to predict the pH, temperature, and sulfur content of a hot spring and the basic microorganisms living in hot springs by taking a virtual trip along the Norris Geyser Basin boardwalk.

Fee:   $0.00

Museum of the Rockies

600 W Kagy Blvd, Bozeman, MT 59717

Eric Boyd

As an environmental microbiologist, Eric Boyd's research is focused on microorganisms that live in extreme environments including the deep subsurface, hot springs, beneath glaciers and ice sheets and in salt lakes. In particular, his research is directed at understanding how organisms can live off of mineral sources of energy, independent from the sun. This work necessitates both field and laboratory experimentation and has direct relevance to understanding how life might have originated on Earth and whether similar life could exist elsewhere.


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