Marine Biological Laboratory

To integrate and synthesize the activities of the Deep Life community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

  • Amount $1,250,000
  • City Woods Hole, MA
  • Investigator Mitchell Sogin
  • Year 2017
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory

Funds from this grant provide two years of operational and research support to the Deep Life Community of the Deep Carbon Observatory. Led by US microbiologist Mitch Sogin and German biogeochemist Kai Hinrichs, the Deep Life Community is a global collaborative network of some 250 researchers working together to enhance our understanding of the nature, distribution, abundance, and limits of the deep biosphere. Funds from this grant will allow the Deep Life Community to conclude its research as the Deep Carbon Observatory approaches its planned conclusion in 2019, as well as begin integrative work to synthesize the community’s findings with the work of the larger DCO community. Grant funds will support the completion of three major sampling studies: one in mainland Oman, one in the Atlantis Massif on the north Atlantic seafloor, and one in the Nankai Trough off the coast of Japan. Other funded research includes the completion of a “Census of Deep Life” that draws on deep life surveys of more than 90 locations worldwide. In addition, the Deep Life community continue laboratory studies of “extreme biophysics” that probe how biological molecules behave at high temperatures and pressures. Finally, the Deep Life Community will contribute several chapters to the technical volume that will summarize the entire body of DCO work and will contribute to the Deep Earth Carbon modeling initiative that provides integrative frameworks for the many faces of the DCO. The modeling has the exciting, maximal aim to predict the distribution of all deep life on Earth in space and time.

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