Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Alex Michaud is an early-career microbial biogeochemist conducting research at the intersection of microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and glaciology. He uses both geochemical and microbiological methods to measure rates of microbial activity in climate-sensitive regions of the Alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic with the ultimate goal of understanding how the loss of ice impacts the role of microorganisms in globally relevant element cycles (C, Fe, S). He is most excited about the SWAIS 2C project because the results of the project will inform open questions from his PhD research conducted on subglacial lakes beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
What are you most excited about learning (or possibly learning) as a result of the SWAIS2C project?
It excites me that we will be able to collect sediments that were deposited long ago. Within those old sediments are microorganisms that were buried when conditions were a lot different in Antarctica than they are today. We can use information about a microorganisms identity and lifestyle to help add data to our understanding of what conditions were like when they were buried. There are many other reasons I am excited which link to other projects that I have worked on in the region, but I won't go on forever here.
Have you ever visited Antarctica before?
Yes. Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling Project (Drilling to Whillans Subglacial Lake and Whillans Grounding Zone), Subglacial Antarctica Lakes Scientific Access Project (Drilling to Mercer Subglacial Lake), McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research Project (Lakes team).
More about Alex is here.