Speaker: Dr. Libby Hausrath, UNLV Department of Geoscience
"What causes pink snow?: Interactions of snow algae, minerals and microorganisms in low-nutrient snowy environments"
Organisms that grow in snow such as the snow algae Chlamydomonas nivalis are astonishingly successful in challenging high UV, low nutrient snow environments. Their distributions range from both poles to alpine environments on all continents where they can reach concentrations of over one million cells per ml. High concentrations of snow algae can also decrease snow albedo by up to one half, increasing local melt rates and potentially contributing to the global heat budget and water cycle. Observations of minerals and microorganisms attached to the cell walls of snow algae suggest that interactions between snow algae, minerals, and microorganisms may help meet nutritional needs in low-nutrient snow environments. Hausrath will discuss field and laboratory analyses in which she examines these interactions between snow algae, microorganisms, and minerals.
Arrive at 6:30 p.m. to dine and hang out.
Talk begins at 7 p.m.