Groundwater is a limited and vulnerable resource that is used for drinking water, agriculture and industrial applications. Baseline studies to understand the ecology of aquifers are crucial to assess potential natural and anthropogenic impacts.
We study groundwater ecosystems on a very large scale and at high resolution. We investigate the geochemistry and microbial ecology of groundwater from >120 dedicated monitoring wells located in southern and central Alberta, Canada, using total cell counts, gas and liquid chromatography, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, and meta-omics methods.
We show that the subsurface of Alberta is an energy-rich and productive ecosystem full of diverse microbes. The project is supported by the Groundwater Observation Well Network and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures and is in collaboration with the groups of Bernhard Mayer and Marc Strous.