Another trek to Washburn Hot Springs, Fall 2017

Washburn Hot Springs is my favorite research site in Yellowstone. About 5miles into the backcountry, there is a mysterious quality to the murky, dark, bubbling fluids of Washburn. There are a myriad of new and interesting archaea and bacteria in this pool, and I am working to write a few manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals about those novel lifeforms based on their genomes. This time, we headed back to Washburn with an overwhelming amount of enrichments planned to see if we could detect new methane cycling microbes in their environment.

 When you have to go on a long hike and accomplish a lot of sampling objectives, it helps to have a really fun crew of scientists with you. Here I am at the trailhead to Washburn Hot Springs with (from right to left)  Asst. Prof. Roland Hatzenpichler , Assoc. Prof. Mensur Dlakic, Prof. Bill Inskeep, grad student Shawna Pratt, Dr. Viola Krukenberg, grad student George Platt, and me.

When you have to go on a long hike and accomplish a lot of sampling objectives, it helps to have a really fun crew of scientists with you. Here I am at the trailhead to Washburn Hot Springs with (from right to left) Asst. Prof. Roland Hatzenpichler, Assoc. Prof. Mensur Dlakic, Prof. Bill Inskeep, grad student Shawna Pratt, Dr. Viola Krukenberg, grad student George Platt, and me.

 Shawna and George in good spirits and prepping some gear. (Research conducted under Yellowstone research permit YELL-2017-SCI-5068)

Shawna and George in good spirits and prepping some gear. (Research conducted under Yellowstone research permit YELL-2017-SCI-5068)

 Dr. Viola Krukenberg using the anoxic glove bag to set up some BONCAT enrichments from our Washburn samples.

Dr. Viola Krukenberg using the anoxic glove bag to set up some BONCAT enrichments from our Washburn samples.

 Overlooking the grand canyon of the Yellowstone

Overlooking the grand canyon of the Yellowstone

 Dr. Viola Krukenberg and Asst. Prof.  Roland Hatzenpichler  are a dream team of figure-outters. In this case we are trying to figure out if a certain microbe is consuming or producing methane and how (which is not trivial). (Research conducted under Yellowstone research permit YELL-2017-SCI-5068)

Dr. Viola Krukenberg and Asst. Prof. Roland Hatzenpichler are a dream team of figure-outters. In this case we are trying to figure out if a certain microbe is consuming or producing methane and how (which is not trivial). (Research conducted under Yellowstone research permit YELL-2017-SCI-5068)

 All done, headed back with lots of juicy samples.

All done, headed back with lots of juicy samples.

 These are less than half of the enrichments that I set up with Washburn samples...the red ones are my favorites, based on the CRAZIEST hypothesis 🤓   

These are less than half of the enrichments that I set up with Washburn samples...the red ones are my favorites, based on the CRAZIEST hypothesis 🤓