About SBI Research: Introduction

Recent discoveries indicate that vast numbers of microorganisms live below the Earth's surface in soil, mud, and rock, and some scientists now believe that the total weight of these microbes is as much as all life (plant and animal) in our well-known surface biosphere. Life below the Earth's surface has important consequences to ecology, to deposits of oil, gas, and minerals, to water resources, to agriculture, and to medicine. OSU has much expertise in this field, and this integrated initiative on the Subsurface Biosphere builds on the University’s strengths in environmental engineering, biotechnology, microbial ecology, agriculture, forestry, and the marine sciences.

link to more information about the subsurface biosphere and engineered environmental processes link to more information about the subsurface biosphere and global chemical cycles. link to more information about the subsurface biosphere and sustainable natural resources

The diagram above illustrates the interconnection between the subsurface biosphere and several wide-reaching topic areas: global biogeochemical cycles, sustainable natural resources, and engineered environmental processes. These focus areas are interconnected through microbial ecology, genomics, proteomics, and metabolic engineering, which are common research strengths at OSU. Examples of research programs and centers in the three focus areas are: the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), the H.J. Andrews Long Term Ecological Research (HJA-LTER) program, and the Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center (WRHSRC), and the NSF Earth’s Subsurface Biosphere Training (ESB-IGERT) grant that serves to tie all the focus areas together. Provided below are descriptions of these focal areas and research areas.

Read more about OSU faculty, projects and publications in these three research areas: