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K-State Today

April 8, 2021

Steve Schmidt to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Steve Schmidt, professor in the ecology and evolutionary biology department at the University of Colorado, will present "Limits to Microbial Life in High-Elevation and Polar Ecosystems" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 12, via Zoom.

We will explore some of the remotest terrestrial ecosystems on Earth in order to begin to understand whether climate — e.g. cold dry conditions, high UV exposure — per se or other factors — e.g. nutrient availability — limit microbial growth and activity in extreme ecosystems. Schmidt will show some unexpected results from nutrient-addition experiments conducted in the High Andes, and present evidence that current biogeochemical theories about what nutrients limit life early in ecosystem succession need to be reconsidered when it comes to cold/dry environments where rates of weathering are low. We will also explore barren landscapes above 6,000 meters elevation in search of "oases" of life in otherwise "lifeless" soil and ice environments. instagram.com/alpine.microbial.observatory

If you would like to visit with Schmidt, contact Priscila Guzman at pguzman@k-state.edu