EESS talk on "Vanishing Glaciers – what else besides water are we losing?"


Event details

Date and time 09.03.2021 12:1513:00  
Place and room
Speaker Dr Hannes M. Peter, Scientist and researcher, Stream Biofilm and Ecosystem Research Laboratory (SBER), EPFL
Category Conferences - Seminars
Global climate change causes the wastage of glaciers and ice sheets at an unprecedented pace. Besides the ice mass that is lost, we may also lose a unique microbiome adapted to live in glacier-fed streams. In the Vanishing Glacier project we set out to sample microbial communities from glacier-fed streams from all over the world, with the aim to establish a first census of microbial life in these extreme environments. By combining community profiling techniques with phylogenetic information, metagenomic-informed predictions of functionality and biogeochemical measurements, we seek to understand the ecological strategies that these microbes have developed to thrive in glacier-fed streams. In this seminar, I will present first results from the Vanishing Glacier project, including a preliminary census across more than 100 glacier-fed streams, insights on how the extreme environment in these streams exerts a selective pressure which allows some bacterial families to diversify into microdiverse clades and insights on the strategies that these microbes employ to meet their resource demands.

Short biography:
Dr Hannes M. Peter is a Senior Scientist at the Stream Biofilm and Ecosystem Research Laboratory at EPFL. He is an aquatic microbial ecologist with a special emphasis on community ecology. With his research, Hannes aims to understand the factors that shape the assembly of complex communities in freshwater ecosystems, particularly in alpine environments. Hannes received training in Limnology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria and obtained his PhD from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • EESS - IIE



Glacier retreat biofilm climate change