EXPLORE CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Research investigates bacterial activities in geological settings particularly near-surface and subsurface sediments. These environments often have low energy flow resulting in bacterial activities operating on geological time scales. However, these activities have a major impact on processes in deep sediments, such as, deep methane formation, organic and inorganic diagenesis. There is strong coupling of biosphere and geosphere processes which provides “dark energy” for bacteria resulting in them driving deep sedimentary processes. This can continue even into very deep and hot deposits (>100°C) and include processes previously thought to be purely thermogenic (e.g. fossil fuel formation).
Biodiversity of deep biosphere communities are being investigated by both culture dependent (including high pressure and temperature) and independent methods (e.g. molecular genetic approaches in collaboration with the School of Biosciences).