Eric Collins Seminar

  1. Different oceanic geographical features create different kinds of marine arctic environments and different kinds of ice. Ice flow and currents also affect the differentiation of these ecosystems. Eric Collins collected different Microbial samples in order to study what kind of microbes grow in these diverse marine environments. He wanted to analyze the microbial content of the samples and determine whether or not the microbes growing in a specific area were due to changes in water salinity, temperature, other factors. Maps can be created from studying these samples.  Eventually melting ice will deposit more fresh water into the arctic ocean. This combined with warming could cause extinctions among microbes. Different temperatures of water have different microbial populations, as evidenced by 16sRNA. Warmer water is causing phytoplankton blooms in the spring. These blooms are important to the arctic biosphere.
  2. I really like the idea of making a comprehensive map of all of the world’s microbial communities. As Collins stated, it could help to classify new kinds of microbes. In lecture, we learned how different temperatures can affect microbes. Extremophiles living in colder temperatures need unsaturated fatty acids in their membranes in order to maintain their membrane fluidity, while microbes living in warmer waters don’t need this. Microbes that live in frozen freshwater glaciers and glacier flows also don’t need to deal with high levels of salinity like the microbes in the atlantic ocean. Collins discussed microbial extinction with the rise of global warming. I wonder how these extinctions will affect the ecosystems the microbes that go extinct are part of.

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