Start date:
End date:
Miers Valley
Principle Investigator:
Stephen Archer
University of Waikato
Hamilton, New Zealand
We will conduct a detailed investigation of the microbial biodiversity and community dynamics within and between selected meltwater ponds near Bratina Island with a small number of comparable samples from the Dry Valleys, significantly expanding the knowledge base from previous studies. We will identify environmental drivers within ponds, and examine the metabolic differences that result from geochemical gradients within ponds, and also metabolic differences due to the different geochemistries between ponds. Furthermore, temperature manipulation experiments will be conducted in the laboratory that will follow changes in the biodiversity and metabolism of these populations, providing a model for examining the effect that warming due to global climate change will have in Antarctica. This research will increase our understanding of the biodiversity found within these extreme ecosystems and provide a scientific examination of impacts that global climate change will have on these ecosystems. These findings will help model complex ecosystem changes due to global warming - an ever growing field of interest as well as guide the choice of Antarctic conservation projects that should be undertaken.