Stromatolite Research in Hamelin Pool

on 15 Apr 2016 

Hamelin Pool is home to the most extensive and diverse actively accreting stromatolite development in the world. A better understanding of the modern stromatolites in Hamelin Pool may help us better understand life on early Earth.

In the first two weeks of April Bush Heritage Australia hosted a group of international researchers at Hamelin Station. This interdisciplinary study included Dr. Pam Reid, a carbonate sedimentologist from the University of Miami – Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Dr. Jamie Foster, a molecular biologist from the University of Florida – Space Life Sciences Lab along with her PhD student Joany Babilonia.

The team focussed on continuing investigations of stromatolite building microbial mats in Hamelin Pool. Samples were taken at six hour intervals (6am, noon, 6pm, and midnight) for three days in two different regions of Hamelin Pool for metagenomics analysis. Additionally, wet, thin sections will be prepared from the samples to examine bacterial community structure. 

Although the days were long, the group dynamic made for a fantastic field campaign that will result in a better understanding of why stromatolites are growing in Hamelin Pool and hopefully provide more insight into ancient structures.