ISU Student Wins NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium Internship to Research Extremophiles in Deep Ocean

A summer research project by an Idaho State University student may give us some insight into what life might look like across the cosmos.

Recently, Rhys Ellis, a senior honors microbiology student from Boise, Idaho, was awarded a NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium Summer Internship. Over the summer months, Ellis is analyzing samples of deep-sea sediments and uncovering what types of earth’s hardiest organisms – known as extremophiles – call these sediments home.
“To investigate whether life exists on other planets and where it can be found,” explains Ellis, “we need to develop a better understanding of what kinds of life call Earth’s extreme habitats home. It’s theorized that life on this planet began with microbes in deep sea vents, so further understanding of how microbes in the deep sea make their living will provide valuable insights as to if similar conditions could support life elsewhere, especially in other planets which also contain oceans.”
Article Credit: Idaho State University
Image Credit: Idaho State University