Limits to Life in the Subsurface
Microorganisms have been found in just about every subsurface environment where scientists have looked. Little is known about what reactions these organisms are catalyzing or at what rate they are active. As a result, the influence that these organisms have driving global element cycles in a significant fraction of Earth's habitable volume is poorly understood. In this presentation, I will describe recent computational work that is designed to quantify what microorganisms are doing and how fast they're doing it in energy-limited, subsurface habitats. I make use of a number of global data sets, interpolation algorithms and a reaction transport model to quantitatively describe global marine sediments as a microbial habitat and to quantify the rates of microbial organic matter degradation in these sediments over the last 2.6 million years.
Douglas Edward LaRowe ist Assistenzprofessor für Geowissenschaften an der University of Southern California in Los Angeles und derzeit im Rahmen der CAS-Research Group von Dieter Braun "Recreating the Origin of Life" als Visiting Fellow am CAS.