Seminar Abstract

DATE:  Friday, April 12, 2019
TIME:  2:30 pm (refreshments at 2:15 pm)
PLACE: ENR building, room 223
       14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ

Matthew Rhodes
Department of Biology, College of Charleston

The Oceans X10: Life at the limit of salinity

Halophiles, or salt loving organisms, have evolved to thrive in waters often more than ten times more saline than Earth.s oceans. Their inhospitable environment presents both benefits, in the form of limited competition and ample opportunity for horizontal gene transfer, as well as challenges to be overcome. First and foremost, halophiles must balance their internal osmolarity with that of their environment. This in turn necessitates alterations to protein structure and amino acid preference. Here we will investigate what lives in these archaeal dominated environments. From there we will explore how halophiles have adapted to their environments and the evolutionary forces at work that enable them to continue to adapt. Finally, we will see why hypersaline environments offer unique opportunities to explore microbial ecology and even how they can potentially affect the ski conditions in Park City, Utah.