As interest in biospheres from seafloor sediments and the terrestrial subsurface increases, it is necessary that recovered materials are sampled to limit contamination and preserve accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. A multi-interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU) have organized a workshop that includes scientists from academia, government agencies, and industry involved in the drilling and sampling of cores from terrestrial and oceanic environments. The primary objective of this workshop is to identify best practices for the sampling, preservation, and analysis of material from the deep subsurface.

Workshop panelists include:

  • Jen Biddle (University Delaware)
  • Elizabeth Denis (Kate Freeman Lab, Penn State University)
  • Jim Fredrickson (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
  • Tom Kieft (New Mexico Tech)
  • T.C. Onstott (Princeton University)
  • Lee Petersen (Itasca Consulting Group)
  • Susan Pfiffner (Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville)
  • Tommy Phelps (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
  • Matt Schrenk (Michigan State University)

The one-day workshop will focus on discussion and intellectual exchange. The workshop will involve short presentations from invited panelists followed by round table discussions with attendees. The coordinating committee (Paula Mouser, Mike Wilkins, Kelly Wrighton, and Dave Cole) will collate expertise and submit a summary report for publication. The workshop includes these areas of discussion:

  • Sample retrieval under in situ conditions
  • Sample preservation to limit contamination during drilling and core retrieval
  • Detection of contamination in recovered samples
  • Identifying biological material in cores
  • Nucleic acid and other biomarker extractions from core
  • High-pressure microbial enrichments or isolations

Registration for the workshop is free for the first 35 registrants through support from OSU’s College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences and the Sloan Foundation’s Deep Carbon Observatory.

To register or for further information, please contact Dr. Paula Mouser at (mouser.19@osu.edu).