SciCafe: The Microbial Worlds of the Deep Sea main content.

SciCafe: The Microbial Worlds of the Deep Sea

Part of SciCafe

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Illustration of deep-sea vents in a petri dish Image by T. Liu

Geobiologist Jeffrey Marlow studies the unusual ways microbes can obtain energy and nutrients in an attempt to understand the limits of life on Earth and beyond. Hear how he has followed extreme microorganisms to deep-sea vents, active volcanoes, and acidic rivers. Why is it important to consider microbes in marine conservation efforts? Marlow explains how deep-sea microbial communities control the distribution of the potent greenhouse gas methane, how these organisms might mitigate climate change, and how they can be used for biofuel production.

This SciCafe took place in the past. Hear the full talk in this episode of the Science@AMNH podcast, or watch a video version below:

Meet the Speaker

Jeffrey Marlow headshot

Jeffrey Marlow is a geobiologist at Harvard University, where he studies methane-eating microorganisms in the deep sea and the fundamental principles that organize microbial life in some of Earth's most extreme locations. As a science writer, Jeff has reported on science and the environment from six continents and written for publications including The New Yorker, Wired magazine, and The New York Times. He is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and the executive director of the Ad Astra Academy, an educational organization that shares the inspirational power of exploration with students around the world.

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Frequent Geek Card

Get your card stamped at the information table when you attend SciCafe.

  • Three stamps—get a free drink
  • Five stamps—get a free Frequent Geek T-shirt.
  • All nine stamps— and receive get two tickets to a special exhibition of your choice.
  • Bring three friends who are new to SciCafe to become a "SciCafe Ambassador”—an honor that comes with a free drink!


Show your SciCafe spirit! Best picture posted on social media using #AMNHSciCafe will be selected at the end of the evening to receive geeky giveaways.

This program is made possible by OceanX, an initiative of the Dalio Foundation, as part of its generous support of the special exhibition Unseen Oceans and its related educational activities and public programs.