Potentially Vast Microbial Habitat Discovered in Antarctica

April 30, 2015  |  Dartmouth Now

Using a novel, helicopter-borne sensor to penetrate the surface of large swathes of terrain, a team of researchers, including Ross Virginia, Director of Dartmouth's Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center and Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has gathered compelling evidence that beneath Antarctica's ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys lies a salty aquifer that may support previously unknown microbial ecosystems and retain evidence of ancient climate change, stated a press release from NSF.

The Division of Polar Programs in NSF's Geoscience's Directorate supported the AEM sensor project through a collaborative award to Mikucki, Tulaczyk and Virginia. 

Numerous national and international media outlets have featured the research, including the Washington Post, ABC ScienceChristian Science MonitorHuffington PostDiscoveryDaily Mailthe VergeNew ScientistBusiness Insider AustraliaBusiness StandardYahoo! NewsInternational Business TimesIrish ExaminerScience MagIFL SciencePhys.org,Silicon RepublicRed Orbit, the Weather Network Canada, and Knoxville News Sentinel.