mars covered glacial deposits middle latitudes


Kimberly Myers


Jackson School of Geosciences

My name is Kimberly Myers, I am a third semester PhD aspirant in the Jackson School of Geosciences. My focus is on microbial chemistry and geomicrobiology, within the Hydrogeology research group. My broad interests lie among cyanobacteria origins and the co-evolution of the geo- and biosphere. My background is in ecology and evolutionary biology, and I'm currently nestled in a geology department, but inter-disciplinary work is where I feel I have the most to learn and contribute. It is for that reason that I wish to explore planetary science and astrobiology in my dissertation work. I am in the process of developing my project, but at the moment it is centered on discovering the affect of minimal dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) on cyanobacteria collected from El Tatio, Chile. El Tatio is an extreme environment; a high altitude, low DIC, and high arsenic geyser complex located in the Atacama desert, the driest desert in the world. I hope to gain insight on the lower physiological tolerance of Tatio cyanobacteria and their ability to adapt to low DIC, because they are already primed to deal with extreme conditions. Knowing the lower limits of cyanobacteria physiology can improve our knowledge of the range of environments that they can colonize and grow successfully, a topic of particular concern to astrobiologists.