Eric Collins Extra Credit

Summary:  Ice can affect how microbes grow and interact with their environment, with different types of microbes inhabiting either the same patch of ice or various patches of ice. The water flows through due to the currents, which can transport some microbes to a new environment. Collins examined the microbial diversity in the Arctic and how the ocean currents effect that diversity. By doing so, he was able to map out not only the temperature variations and depth of the ocean in his study areas, but also where certain microbial strains may be.

Reflection:  Eric Collins’ presentation was really easy to follow and understand what his study was about and what the results were. He provided sufficient background information to understand how the different regions that he collected his samples from would be effected. Throughout the presentation, Collins incorporated some light humor, which I felt helped keep the engagement of the audience. The connection between this seminar and class is looking at how different environmental conditions, such as temperature, salinity, amount of nutrients, can effect microbial growth. Depending on what is in the environment, various microbial strains will thrive and grow better than other strains based on their needs. One question that came to mind while listening to his presentation is: could this study lead to future environmental studies to find out if there are microbes that could provide benefits for decreasing the rate at which the sea ice keeps shrinking?

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