CMEG researchers head for the Namib Desert

Posted on April 02, 2013

Samples recovered during the week will be returned to the CMEG laboratory at the University of Pretoria for chemical, physical and molecular analyses. These studies will rely heavily on genomic and metagenomic methods and will extensively employ next generation DNA sequencing.

Individual research projects will focus on the gravel desert soils, the dune and inter-dune environments, the microbiology of different soil types and soil ages, and specialised niche environments such as spear-grass mounds, saline springs, ‘fairy circles’ and hypoliths. Macro and microclimatic effects, soil chemistry, carbon turnover and other factors are all expected to influence microbial community structures. These studies will include surveys of bacterial, fungal and bacteriophage diversity.

Photos from a previous trip

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1.       Marla Tuffin (UWC) gets up close and personal with a spear-grass plant.
2.       The Gobabeb Research and Training Centre is a comfortable base for field operations.
3.       Ed Rybicki (UCT) surveys a saline spring in the Central Namib.
4.       Early morning on a Namib Desert sand dune is scenic. 


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