Our very own Angelique Ray, an enthusiastic new Ph.D. student continuing on from her honours, will be attending the upcoming EOI Building Australia's Strategy for Space 2-day conference in Canberra.
Big congratulations to Kate Montgomery, a Ph.D. student in the Ferrari Lab, for being a successful applicant in Westpac's prestigious 2018 STEM program. We wish her all the best in her new and exciting role.
Local and international speakers include:
- Mike Manefield, University of New South Wales, Australia
- Chris Greening, Monash University, Australia
- Dianne Newman, Caltech, USA
- Caroline Chenard, NTU, Singapore
- Rytas Vilgalys, Duke University, USA
Continuing on from Honours, our new PhD Student, Angelique Ray, will be giving a poster presentation at the event.
#9 Breatharian bacteria
In the frozen wastes of Antarctica, scientists found bacteria that can survive by drawing energy from trace gases in the atmosphere without the aid of sunlight or geothermal energy. The discovery redraws the parameters of whatmight be possible for life, on Earth or elsewhere.
Congratulations to Belinda Ferrari and her team whose article had been accepted by Nature in December 2017.
The research has found that microbes in Antarctica can scavenge hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air to stay alive in such extreme conditions, and this has implications for the search for life on other planets.
The article has also garnered international interest, read more about it here:
On Monday 27 November 2017, we celebrated our diversity, broke a world record and celebrated our achievements at the end of year faculty celebrations.
It is my great pleasure to announce that Belinda Ferrari has been successful in her applications for promotion to Associate Professor, effective 1 January 2018.
Belinda joined BABS as a Senior Lecturer in 2008 as part of the Environmental Microbiology discipline. Her research focus is microbial diversity of soil bacteria in the Antarctic region in collaboration with the Australian Antarctic Division. In recent years, Belinda has headed the School’s Industry Outreach Committee, and this year was successful in being awarded a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship, which she will take up at the beginning of 2018.
In July, Nicole Benaud was fortunate enough to attend FEMS 2017; the 7th Congress of European Microbiologists, held in the beautiful city of Valencia, Spain. The congress focused on antimicrobial resistance and infections, sustainability and climate change.
Nicole presented the results of recent work by Ferrari Lab members (herself and Eden), with a poster titled ‘Harnessing Long Read SMRT Sequencing Technology for Natural Product Gene Discovery in Polar Desert Soils’.
Congratulations to Dr. Mukan Ji for successfully landing a research position at the highly competitive Chinese Academy of Science. He is currently on a 2-week field trip to collect samples in Tibet!
A huge congratulations to Dr. Belinda Ferrari, a successful applicant for the highly competitive ARC Future Fellowship award.
Atmospheric carbon fixation: a novel microbial process in Antarctic soils. This project aims to challenge our global understanding of carbon fixation. In most ecosystems, phototrophy supports higher-trophic life, yet no genetic evidence for photosynthesis exists in Antarctic desert soils. The project will determine the significance of atmospheric chemotrophy, a microbial driven process based on the consumption of atmospheric gases that it is proposed supports energy maintenance and biomass assimilation in nutrient-starved Antarctic desert soils. Additionally, the project will establish if these processes are structuring soil microbial communities, particularly in response to climate change. The expected project outcome is knowledge of primary production at the nutritional limits of life. This should provide significant benefit, such as a shift in our knowledge of the biological sciences as a new minimalistic mode of primary production.