Collaborative Research: Controls over the Spatial Distribution and Activity of Microbial Communities in Antarctic Soils
Advances in molecular techniques have expanded our understanding of soil microbial communities, and raised important questions about regional and global patterns in microbial diversity. The proposed research will investigate the composition and activity of microbial communities across a range of geochemical and hydrologic soil conditions, and over local to regional scales in the Transantarctic Mountains, in order to assess controls over microbial biogeography. The research targets two areas in the Transantarctic mountains, the McMurdo Dry Valleys, and the Beardmore Glacier region further south, the latter representing an underexplored and inarguably more extreme soil environment. The research project will adopt an integrated approach, using molecular techniques and in situ assessment of biological activity in a quantitative biogeographical framework, with the goal of distinguishing fine versus broad scale controls over microbial community structure. The research is essential to determining the basic trophic status of extreme microbial food webs, and their sensitivity to climate change. The investigators will engage secondary and post-secondary educators through first person outreach as well as web-based communications and exercises. Two postdoctoral scientists will be trained in an interdisciplinary and international setting.
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database