Mud pools at Lassen National Park

Fish that thrive beneath Antarctica’s polar ice. Acid-loving microbes inhabiting thermal vents at the ocean floor and hot springs on land. The amazing killifish, emerging from suspended animation in mud when the rains arrive in the hot, arid desert Southwest. Mosses that thrive at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Researchers in CLEE work to answer questions such as: "Where and how did life originate?" "What are the biological and chemical mechanisms needed for survival?" "How will life function under future planetary extremes?"

Mission Statement

The Center for Life in Extreme Environments, or CLEE, seeks to foster transformative, interdisciplinary research to advance our understanding of the boundaries of life and to identify mechanisms for survival in future planetary extremes. 


In CLEE, we build actionable pathways to:

  1. Conduct high quality, innovative, multidisciplinary science at the forefront of international research.
  2. Train the next generation of scientists though interdisciplinary coursework and research experiences.
  3. Forge interdisciplinary partnerships with industry, academic, government and non-profit collaborators from arts, humanities, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and engineering.  
  4. Translate revolutionary research to broader scientific and non-scientific community through interactive, engaging outreach activities.
Covers of several publications by CLEE researchers.

CLEE BY THE NUMBERS