South African Soceity for Microbial (SASM), Durban 2016

Posted on February 03, 2016

SASM is an association that supports microbiology research in South Africa. Every year CMEG students participate in the conference with both oral and poster presentations. This year, 3 CMEG students performed oral presentations with the other 4 students presenting posters.





This year our Master's student, Storme de Scally, won the best oral presentation prize. Strome's research aims to determine how McMurdo Dry Valley microbial community structure and functionality may be affected by temperature fluctuations.


As a loss of biodiversity and rising sea temperatures may negatively impact important ecosystem processes, such as essential biogeochemical cycles, it is important for us to understand the structure and function of microbial communities in oceans.

Global temperatures are expected to increase 6.4 ca. within the next 100 years. The increased temperatures are leading to the melting of previously frozen ice, resulting in the mobilisation of key nutients in terrestrial habitats. Microbial communities are the dominant biota within terrestrial habitats and are known mediators of biogeochemical cycles. Therefore it is hypothesised that changes in microbial community structure and function may lead to changes in key biogeochemical cycles, such as the carbon and nitrogen cycles. However, how microbial communities may respond directly to temperature fluctuations remains unclear.

- Author Alacia Armstrong and Storme de Scally

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