Cool science in (1000) hot springs
New Zealand scientists have published the first major results from their study of the unique & extremely resilient organisms living in the Taupō Volcanic Zone, in the world’s most comprehensive look at geothermal springs. Over two years, researchers from the 1000 Springs Project carried out a systematic sampling of more than 1000 springs – to find out what lives in the hot, steamy and chemically extreme environments. The joint GNS /University of Waikato project was co-led by University of Waikato’s Professor Craig Cary and Dr Matt Stott, who is now at the University of Canterbury. They discovered 28,000 different microorganisms and observed what’s driving their distribution, and the importance of the springs’ chemistry and physical conditions to their survival in such harsh conditions.