Our group’s interest broadly into how microbial communities evolve and develop led us to explore the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica in 2022 as part of the 40-year long-term ecological research (LTER) project sponsored at the time by Dr. John Priscu. In addition to the standard samples for aqueous geochemistry (think: concentrations of stuff across 4 different lakes), we additionally sampled for DNA to describe the communities existing in these lakes.

Alongside the fabulous researchers Jade Lawrence and Emily Reynebeau, Andrew was able to collect scads of samples for DNA, trace metals, isotopes of nitrogenous species, nitrous oxide, and alkalinity (the ability of water to buffer against changes in pH). Samples are still being processed, so stay tuned!