Due to the high cost of drilling and maintaining sample integrity, there has been very little research on microbial life in pristine hydrocarbon-bearing shale ecosystems. This project provides necessary information needed to plan for future energy and resource needs. Advances in high throughput genomics afford the first opportunity to deeply characterize microbial phylogenetic diversity and functional potential in two geologically different deep shale biomes both prior to, and during, energy extraction. The geological and operational differences between the two sampling sites may have important ramifications both for native microbes and colonizing communities that form during energy extraction.
Proposer’s Name: Kelly Wrighton, Ohio State University