The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' --Isaac Asimov
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Northwest Glaciologists’ Meeting

October 18th, 2014 by eric

Today I presented an overview [PDF] of the Greenland Ice Microbiome Project at the Northwest Glaciologists’ Meeting in Fairbanks. It was encouraging that they didn’t laugh at me (except where they were supposed to)!

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Two NOAA projects funded!

October 10th, 2014 by eric

We’re very excited to announce that two recent Cryomics Lab proposals have been selected for funding by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We’re also looking for students to work on these projects!


The first project, “Mapping the Uncharted Diversity of Arctic Marine Microbes”, was funded by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Eric Collins (UAF/SFOS), Sarah Hardy (UAF/SFOS), and Rolf Gradinger (Norwegian Institute of Marine Research) are co-investigators on the proposal, which seeks to discover novel genetic diversity among Arctic microbes, the most abundant of the ocean’s organisms. The website for the project can be found here: Uncharted

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The second project, “Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Project”, was funded along with several other pilot projects (California Coast, Florida Keys) to demonstrate effective biodiversity monitoring networks in marine areas that are particularly susceptible to global change. The focus area of this study is the Chukchi Sea, a region of intense interest from the perspective of climate change and oil and gas development. The project is led by Katrin Iken (UAF/SFOS) and including 10 other co-investigators from UAF, U. Maryland, NOAA, and USFWS. We are very excited to join the project to initiate time-series investigations of the biodiversity of marine microbes in the Chukchi Sea over the next several years.

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August 27th, 2014 by eric

Hello Seoul!

Make sure to meet Cryomics postdoc Anne-Lise Ducluzeau at poster #109A in Session PS23 – Biodiversity, adaptation and interactions in extreme environments.

Also don’t miss Jeff Bowman‘s talk on Friday at 2:30 in CS40: Biodiversity, adaptation and interactions in extreme — “Increased rates of horizontal gene transfer in psychrophilic genomes and potential links to the Phanerozoic climate record”.

ISME 2014v2

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Graduate Student Assistantship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

July 29th, 2014 by eric


to begin Spring/Summer 2015

A graduate student assistantship (M.S. or Ph.D.) is available in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Collins at the University of Alaska Fairbanks ( Contact Dr. Collins ( to discuss the position in more detail. Please include a brief description of your research interests, experience, and academic preparations. Competitive applicants will have a strong academic background in the natural sciences, prior field or research experience, and an interest in microbial ecology and evolution. Applications should be made to the graduate program in the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (, applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Funding is available for an M.S. or Ph.D. student to develop a thesis project investigating the diversity, distribution, and evolution of polar marine microorganisms. The student will engage with a team of researchers at the University of Alaska on the broader question of how biophysical processes (e.g. sea ice, primary production) influence the entry and fate of elements, greenhouse gases and contaminants in Arctic marine ecosystems. This is an inter-disciplinary project that includes experts on sea ice, polar oceanography, biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, and genomics. The candidate will have the opportunity to engage with students and faculty across these disciplines. Field work for the project is based primarily in the Alaskan Arctic, with the potential for additional field work conducted on the R/V Sikuliaq ( Prior experience with bioinformatics or computer programming is highly desirable.

Please see the following websites for more information about UAF (, the Institute of Marine Sciences (, the UAF Graduate School (, and Dr. Collins’ research ( The University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution. Members of traditionally under-represented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

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Next stop, Greenland!

March 3rd, 2014 by eric

Click through to check out my latest adventure: the Greenland Ice Microbiome Project!


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