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Discovery and Microbial Exploration of Deep Ocean Hydrothermal Vents in the South Western Pacific Presentation
Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 7:30pm

Anna-Louise Reysenbach will present "Discovery and Microbial Exploration of Deep Ocean Hydrothermal Vents in the South Western Pacific" on Wednesday, November 8, at 7:30 pm, at the Fariborz Maseeh Auditorium, Engineering 102, (1930 SW Fourth Ave). Reysenbach's lecture is sponsored by Sigma Xi and is free and open to the public.

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles, providing biological oases at the sea floor that are supported by the thermal and chemical flux from the Earth' s interior. Yet many new sites remain undiscovered. During a five-part NSF-funded exploratory science mission, numerous new vent fields were discovered and sampled along the Valu Fa Ridge and Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC). With its unusual geology, geochemistry, and diverse venting styles, this system provided a unique opportunity to explore the effects of these variables on microbial phylogenetic and metabolic diversity, as well as the biogeography of invertebrates. Furthermore, the discovery of vent fluids with very low pH led to the serendipitous isolation of the first acid-loving thermophile from deep-sea vents.

Anna-Louise Reysenbach is a professor of Microbial Biology in the PSU Biology Department. Her research centers on microbial ecology, with a special interest in the ecology of terrestrial and deep-sea hydrothermal vents and in the evolution of biogeochemical cycles. Her lab has isolated many heat-loving microbes belonging to novel branches on the tree of life. Recently, she was awarded an NSF grant for sequencing the entire genomes of two of these isolates. Reysenbach serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Microbial Ecology, and is a subject editor for the journal Geobiology. She is a member of the NSF-RIDGE 2000 Steering Committee, and she recently was elected to the National Research Council's Space Studies Board. Reysenbach has served on the NASA subcommittee on Space Exploration and Science and the Deep-Sea Submergence Scientific Committee (DESSC). Her research has taken her to Iceland, New Zealand, the Azores, Costa Rica, Yellowstone, and numerous deep-sea locales.

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