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"Dark Energy: The Deep Oceanic Biosphere" Workshop

October 3-5, 2004

A workshop co-sponsored by the WHOI Deep Ocean Exploration Institute and the WHOI Ocean Life Institute

Questions to be explored include:

» What controls interactions between cells and the environment in the deep sea and sub-seafloor?
» What is the minimum energy required for growth and maintenance of cells?
» How does the geochemical environment control microbial activity and community structure?

Of critical importance for developing an improved understanding of the linkages between geochemistry and microbiology is the development of methods that will allow us to measure in situ electrochemical gradients and to gain information on the composition and activity of microbial communities thriving in these gradients.

This workshop will bring together experts in (1) theoretical geochemistry and biochemistry, (2) molecular microbiology and geochemistry, and (3) field and experimental sensors.  We are inviting 15 scientists from other institutions and a similar number of scientists from Woods Hole (WHOI and MBL).  We hope that the workshop will lead to ideas for collaborative research aimed at exploring the linkages between terrestrial energy flux and microbial ecosystems in the deep sea and beyond.

October 3, Plenary Session
Jan Amend, Washington University
"Energy-yields and energy-demands in microbial geochemistry"
9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

John Baross, University of Washington
"Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of sub-seafloor microbial communities"
10:35 - 11:20 a.m.

George Luther, University of Delaware
"Chemical sensors to understand biogeochemical processes—total element analyses versus chemical speciation analyses"
11:25 - 12:10 p.m.

The lectures will be preceded by introductory remarks by John Hayes, WHOI
9:00 and 9:20 a.m.