Extremophile Ecology

We are investigating the distribution and abundance of microorganisms from New Zealand’s extreme environments, as well as the interactions between the organisms and their surroundings.

Geothermal Biodiversity

A wide range of physicochemically diverse hot springs and soils in the Taupō Volcanic Zone support microbial life. We are using cultivation- dependent and -independent techniques to investigate microbial diversity.

The 1000 Springs Project (2012-2015) is a research programme aiming to catalogue the microbial and geochemical diversity in 1000 New Zealand geothermal ecosystems.

Submarine Biodiversity

We are using molecular DNA and classical culturing techniques to study the microbial diversity of hydrothermal vents on submarine volcanoes of the Kermadec Arc. Many of the microorganisms or their closest relations have never been grown in the laboratory, and in most cases are only distantly related to known microorganisms.