Amy Gartman: Interactions between electrical potential, mineralogy and microbial activity at hydrothermal vents

Microbiology & Geomicrobiology Seminar Series

2017.09.22 | Maj Thimm Carlsen

Date Thu 05 Oct
Time 11:00 12:00
Location 1540-116

Speaker: Mendenhall Fellow Amy Gartman, US Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, California

 

Title: Interactions between electrical potential, mineralogy and microbial activity at hydrothermal vents

 

Abstract:
High temperature hydrothermal vents are complex systems, with steep thermal, chemical, and redox gradients over centimeter-scale spatial scales, additionally complicated by temporal variation. One of the most interesting features at these vents is the formation of hydrothermal chimneys via mineral deposition at the point of mixing. These chimneys have been observed to exhibit metal-like conductivity and host a diverse array of microbes. The mineralogy of chimney formation as well as the microbial metabolisms present in chimneys continue to be explored; however one understudied component is the role of electrochemistry in these systems. Results from a lab-based bioelectrical system that explore the ways in which electrical current, microbial communities and conductive and non-conductive minerals interact will be presented, specifically isolating differences between living and dead microbial communities and electrical potential on the system chemistry. In addition, parallels and applicability to a natural hydrothermal vent will be explored.

Center for Geomicrobiology