Start date:
November 2010
End date:
December 2010
McKelvey Valley
Principle Investigator:
Roberta Farrell
University of Waikato
Event K021 is an international collaboration in isolating and understanding terretrial biodiversity, principally focusing on Antarctic fungi and microbial life from pristine and human-impacted sites, revealing amazing biodiversity of both endemic and introduced fungal microorganisms and demonstrating their biochemical limits for life, including primary and secondary metabolism and dispersement mechanisms. We have demonstrated that the fungi have adapted and are proliferating and spreading by aerial dispersal in the environment, an important model for biosecurity concerns of introduced microbes to Antarctica. In addition, the collaboration has evaluated the deterioration of the Historic Huts and artefacts of Ross Island and their environs. In 2008 the research extended to the first culture-independent survey of multi-domain microbial biodiversity of McKelvey Valley in the Dry Valleys. Current research is focused on continued monitoring of the historic huts areas and extending the study in McKelvey Valley, including high definition surveying.