Microbiology Expeditions

Guaymas Basin Tectonics and Biosphere

Scientists in Expedition 385 will explore the intricate processes that arise in the Guaymas Basin.

Amundsen Sea West Antarctic Ice Sheet History

A team of 116 ship crew, scientists, technicians, and communicators takes to the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica’s fastest-warming sea, aboard the JOIDES Resolution. Over the course of their two-month mission, they plan to drill at least five sites beneath the seabed and bring home sediment samples that are millions of years old, in order to recreate the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

Brothers Arc Flux

Expedition 376 will study submarine hydrothermal systems at the Brothers Volcano in the Kermadec-Tonga Arc.

Indian Monsoon

By studying the foraminifera in the sediment, scientists uncovered the mysteries of the past climate and changes in monsoon activity.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge Microbiology

By installing three subseafloor observatories (“CORKs”) into the ocean crust, IODP scientists gained new information that help to understand what life is like below the ocean floor.

South Pacific Gyre Microbiology

Scientists penetrated a total of 630 m at seven different drill sites to define the physical and chemical limits of subseafloor microbial life in tectonic and oceanographic settings not yet explored.

Juan de Fuca Hydrogeology

An international education and outreach program developed tools and techniques that facilitate the communication of exciting scientific drilling results to a broad audience, built educational curricula, and created media products that will help achieve critical outreach goals.

Microbiology News


Saturday morning starts at a civilized pace. Dan and Ginny, both on the night shift, meet at 10 AM for…

Ginny Edgcomb: Searching For The Fungi of Guaymas

This Q&A is part of the “Career Spotlight” series of Expedition 385     Can you tell me a little…

The Fellowship of the Ringvent and the Mines of Moria

Ringvent does something to the science crew… it has a peculiar effect… normally sane people say, “I can spend even…

Classroom Activities About Microbiology

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  • Drilling
  • Education
  • History of Earth
  • Just for Kids
  • Microbes
  • Microfossils
  • Physcial Properties
  • Volcanoes

Biodiversity of Hydrothermal Vents at Brothers Volcano

One measure of biodiversity of an ecosystem is the species diversity, which is a combination of both species richness and…

Microbes found on a CORK – Poster

This microbe was first isolated from a layer of black rust on the steel surface of a CORK. A CORK…

Sulfolobus Solfataricus Microbe Poster

Sulfolobus solfataricus was originally isolated from the Sulfatara hot springs in Italy. It is a mobile thermoacidophile Archaea as it has a…

Magneto-Tastic Microbe Poster

These microbes are responsive to magnetic fields, and will align with them just like the needle of a compass! This…

Microbe Poster: Hot Threads of the Deep

In the deep subsurface, oxygen is limited (or even completely absent), and is often toxic to many microbes living there….

Sensei Microbe Poster

This bacterium is named after Dr. Ken Takai, who is sailing with us on Expedition 376! Like most forms of…

Microbe Poster: The Hottest Life on Earth

This poster highlights the current world champion hyperthermophile: Methanopyrus kandleri. But that’s not all – this rod-shape archaea is also…

How Science Works – Discovering Life Below the Seafloor Poster

This poster highlights the pathway one microbiologist and her colleagues follow to unravel the mystery of what is living in…

Where Wild Microbes Grow: a free children’s book

How to download the ebook: For iPads and Macs: Where Wild Microbes Grow was designed specifically to fit on an iPad screen….

Exploring Seafloor Data

Present students with this data set of microbial phyla from the deep biosphere and guide them to identify patterns then form and test multiple hypotheses about the questions they generate.  Then they reflect on the elements of "doing science" they experienced and use the Science Flow Chart to document the process they engaged in and share what they would do next.

Searching Microbes beneath the Seafloor Poster

The artwork on this poster depicts research on microbe diversity in the deep biosphere. The activity on the back utilizes Lego blocks to model a method microbiologists use, called Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH), to “tag,” identify, and study microbial diversity deep below the sea floor.

Visual Core Description



Mohawk Guy and his Band of Neogene Planktic Foraminifer Friends

It’s Sedimentary, My Dear Watson

Discovering Life Below the Sea Floor

Students highlight these elements in a reading about a marine microbial biochemist named Beth Orcutt to learn how she conducted her science. Students are then introduced to the Science Flowchart and plot the steps Beth took to see an example of how science is a non-linear process that involves creativity, new invention, collaboration, and more.

How Small? How Big? How Much?

Using the Microfossils: the ocean’s storytellers poster, this lesson will help students understand the size of microfossils found in core…

Tagging a Microbe

In this activity, students use Lego blocks to learn one method microbiologists use, called Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH), to “tag,” identify, and study microbial diversity found deep below the sea floor. Students use the Lego pieces to build genetic strands of different bacteria and the probes that will tag them.

Adopt a Microbe

JOIDES Resolution