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From pole to pole: Cruising the roof of our planet searching for an unseen microbial life

The conference focused on two subjects, on the one hand Prof. Battin (Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne) documented in very impressive photos his team's research on what he calls the third pole, i.e. the situation of glaciers around the world. Secondly, he presented the not very encouraging results of climate change on glaciers as well as their influence on waterways, particularly in the Himalayan region. He explained and illustrated his research focused on the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of river ecosystems, as well as the concept of the "unlimited carbon cycle" that he created.

An interesting debate with the numerous public concluded the conference. The conference was in Luxembourgish. A collaboration with naturmusée.

Tom Battin is Full Professor in environmental sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Before he took this position, he was Professor in Limnology at the University of Vienna, Austria. He is fascinated by the microbial life in high-mountain streams and the relevance of these ecosystems for the global carbon cycle. This research gains importance as high-mountain ecosystems figure among the most vulnerable to climate change. Tom Battin has published more than 130 scientific papers unravelling physical, chemical and biological processes that drive stream ecosystems. Over the last five years, he has organised twelve expeditions to the world’s major mountain ranges to study glacier-fed streams. He has pioneered the field of fluvial bio geosciences for which he has been awarded the prestigious Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky Medal of the European Geosciences Union.




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