How deep into Earth can we go and still find life? Marine microbiologist Karen Lloyd (DCO Executive Committee, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA) introduces us to deep subsurface microbes: tiny organisms that live buried meters deep in ocean mud and have been on Earth since way before animals. Learn more about these mysterious microbes, which refuse to grow in the lab and seem to have a fundamentally different relationship with time and energy than we do.
Karen Lloyd studies novel groups of microbes in Earth's deep surface biosphere, collecting them from disparate remote places such as Arctic fjords, volcanoes in Costa Rica, even deep in mud in the Marianas Trench. She has adapted novel techniques to quantify and characterize these mysterious microbes while requiring minimal changes to their natural conditions. Her work centers on deep oceanic subsurface sediments, deep-sea mud volcanoes and cold seeps, terrestrial volcanoes and hot springs, serpentinizing springs, Arctic marine fjord sediments, and ancient permafrost.
Recorded on October 2017 at TED@BCG Milan.