Photo of Stephanie Boyle.

SBI Research Feature:

Mark Nielsen, a doctoral student in Oceanography, designs benthic microbial fuel cells, devices that use sea floor microbes to generate electricity and could one day power oceanographic instruments.

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The biosphere is usually thought of as plants and animals near Earth's surface, but Earth's habitable zone extends to depths of hundreds or thousands of meters. The organisms that live in this environment may collectively have a mass equivalent to that of all of Earth's surface dwellers and may provide keys to solving major environmental, agricultural, and industrial problems. Oregon State University's Suburface Biosphere Initiatve unites faculty and students from five different colleges who share interests in this underground world.

The last day of funding for the Subsurface Biosphere Initiative was June 30, 2012, but this Website will continue to be offered as a resource on the topic.