Jesse Harrison and colleagues publish new study into microbial communities in extreme evironments

The study in Astrobiology investigates microbial diversity in basaltic environments on Hawaii as a possible analogue for Mars

Former ABRU postdoc Jesse Harrison and collaborators including the UK Centre for Astriobiology and NASA have published a new study in which they show that extreme environments on Earth are characterized by low-diversity bacterial and archael communities. Jesse and colleagues studied the microbes inhabiting fumarole environments - thermal vent systems - and weathered basaltic rocks on Hawaii. The low microbial diversity they observe confirms that such environments are on the edge of sustaining life on Earth, with implications for the biological potential of similar environments on Mars.

The article in the journal Astrobiology is open access and can be viewed here.