This Week's Thursday Night Sevilleta Summer Seminar Speaker - Diana Northup
Diana Northup has been studying things that live in caves since 1984.She has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico. She and her colleagues on the SLIME (Subsurface Life In Mineral Environments) Team are investigating how microbes help form the colorful ferromanganese deposits that coat the walls of Lechuguilla and Spider Cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park;
how microbes participate in the precipitation of calcium carbonate formations called pool fingers; and the microbial diversity located in the hydrogen sulfide cave, Cueva de las Sardinas in Tabasco, Mexico and in lava caves worldwide. Her lab is also studying the fungal diversity of caves as a backdrop to the newly emerging disease, White Nose Syndrome in bats. Diana has been honored by having her work featured on NOVA, CNN, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the BBC. Currently, she is Professor Emerita in the University Libraries and a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico, where she is actively researching cave geomicrobiology and microbial diversity using geochemical, molecular and microscopy techniques.
Title: New Discoveries From Intraterrestrials: The Microbial Wonderland of Caves
Abstract: Diana will discuss three current projects in her lab that highlight the amazing microbial diversity found in caves: (1) controls on microbial diversity in lava caves using study results from Hawai‘i, Lava Beds National Monument, El Malpais National Monument, and the Azores.
Some of the microbial life in these lava tubes looks more geological than biological, but contains abundant life. Because lava caves have been detected on several extraterrestrial bodies, these studies have implications for life detection on other planets. (2) the geomicrobiology of Cueva de Villa Luz: how microorganisms transform sulfur compounds and the abundant microbial biofilms found in this cave: from snottites to phlegmballs! (3) fungal diversity in caves and the implications for understanding White Nose Syndrome in bats.
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: UNM Sevilleta Field Station - OLD Conference Room Potluck theme - brats & burgers. (bring something to share w/about 26 people!)
Driving Directions to the Station:
The UNM Sevilleta Field Station is located - on South I-25, Exit 169 (50 min. south of ABQ, 20 min. north of Socorro) After you exit the interstate, you will turn WEST at the stop sign. Follow the paved road all the way up and you'll see a small brown sign on the right - that directs you to the UNM Sevilleta Field Station. (As you pass from a paved to gravel road, the Fish & Wildlife Visitor Center should be on your Left - if it is not - you are on the wrong road).
The OLD Conference Room is in the first set of stucco buildings you will see on your right as you are driving in to the main parking lot.