2001 Annual Science Report

University of Rhode Island Reporting  |  JUL 2000 – JUN 2001

Executive Summary

Executive Summary — URI (dm)

A better understanding of the Earth’s deep biosphere is essential because it can serve as a model for life on other planets and it is a critical component of the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. This research is aimed at gaining a fundamental understanding of the life in deeply buried marine sediments. We are undertaking an interdisciplinary set of projects that takes advantage of our considerable expertise in marine sedimentary microbiology, sedimentary biogeochemistry and deep ocean drilling. Our objectives are to understand the subsurface microbial ecosystems of marine sediments, their role in Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, and their relevance to the search for life on other planets. We focus on three major projects.

The first project explores the taxonomic composition, metabolic activity and geochemical consequences of buried microbial ecosystems in marine sediments with widely different physical and chemical characteristics Environments include hot, deeply ... Continue reading.

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