I just sent the signed acceptance of our Yellowstone National Park sampling permit, meaning that MAD EGG LAB is now authorized to sample hot springs this summer! Extremely excited about this, and looking forward to being in the park in July (20th - 24th). Now to get all the prep work done with our collaborators Dr. Andy Czaja and Dr. Trinity Hamilton. We will also have the great fortune of bringing new Geology graduate student Andrew Gangidine (as well as his life-collaborator Ann) with us to collect samples. Also hoping we can entice Dr. Bill Gilhooly (from IUPUI) to join us as well. We have so much fun and exciting science lined up for this trip...biosignature work that relates to the ancient rock record as well as Mars, carbon uptake experiments, etc.
In other news, we are getting all of the funding squared away for the Midwest Geobiology Conference that we will be hosting here at UC in October, 2016. We have quite the team: Dr. Aaron Diefendorf, Dr. Andy Czaja, and myself in the Geology Dept., and Dr. Trinity Hamilton from Biology. October 14th (Friday) will have a icebreaker at the Rhinegeist Brewery in downtown Cincinnati, and then October 15th will be talks and posters on the UC campus focusing on graduate student and postdoc research in the Midwest. Hope to see all of our friends and collaborators!
Website: http://www.midwestgeobiology.org/ Follow on twitter: @MidwestGeobio
Excited to put in a grant proposal with Dr. Hamilton to the Ohio Sea Grant program this week. Hopefully they will see their way to funding our proposal to sample lakes and reservoirs in western Ohio this summer to better understand the effects of zebra muscles on Lake Erie and harmful cyanobacterial blooms. Also excited to put in the first round proposal to the NASA Exobiology program with Dr. Czaja to combine our research on biosignatures preservation in modern hot spring systems and relating it to ancient microfossils.
Flat Cone (foreground) and Steep Cone (distance) as photographed by William Henry Jackson while part of the 1872 Hayden Expedition. MAD EGG LAB will be visiting these sites this summer. (Photo curtesy of the USGS, collected as part of Jeff's work on a book on the Hayden Expedition to YNP in 1871).