MIDWEST GEOBIOLOGY CONFERENCE
September 30, 2017.
Cara, Liz Roepke, Liz MacDonald, Josh, and Mary traveled to Indianapolis for the 2017 MWGB conference. Liz R (PhD student) presented a poster on metal bioremediation potentials using Mn oxidizing microbes. Liz M (Undergraduate research assistant) presented identification and taxonomic work on selenium-reducing microbes. Josh (PhD student) presented a poster on his findings of nutrient variations affecting selenium reducing fungi. Mary (PhD student) presented her research from CROMO and the University of Michigan, where she studied mineral-microbe interactions with Fe and S constraints. Great job representing the lab and sharing your research, guys!
Besides these snapshots of Liz and Josh in front of their handsome posters, pictures of the event are apparently scarce…
The weekend did, however, provide hard evidence of Josh’s dance skills.
August 10, 2017.
Congratulations to lab member Liz MacDonald for completing her Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program (LSSURP) project! Liz spent the summer identifying isolates collected from remediated phosphate mines in Idaho. She sequenced several bacteria and fungi and constructed phylogenetic trees of the selenium-tolerant organisms. Liz will continue research in the lab this semester, working with additional Idaho soil isolates and experimenting with selenium tolerances.
Liz’s poster is entitled: “Identification and Characterization of 22 Selenium-Tolerant Bacteria and 4 Selenium-Tolerant Fungi.”
SECOND CREEK FIELDWORK
The Santelli Lab is collaborating on a project with Crystal Ng’s lab to investigate the microbial and chemistry cycling in a creek and wetland complex in northern Minnesota. This water system is a site of interest due to the native population of wild rice that grows here, as this site is also impacted by chemistry influxes from a nearby mine tailing pond.
Carla and Kelly embarked to southeast Idaho for the third year of data collection at remediated mining sites in the Caribou National Forest. Flowering plants at our reference sites were in full bloom across the landscape. Microbial and sediment samples were collected to investigate the types of microbes inhabiting the selenium rich environments and to explore how species compositions might be changing over time. On a stormy day when the elevation of our sites was inaccessible, Carla and Kelly explored many of the natural springs around the area, taste testing the area’s claim to fame.
June 15, 2016.
A week overdue, but better late than never. Last week, Carla and Cara were out in southeast Idaho for a few days collecting soil samples for research related to selenium biogeochemistry. Although it doesn’t look like it, these areas are reclaimed phosphate mine sites with Se-rich soils. We are looking at the microbial communities contributing to the fate and distribution of Se in these soils.