The Deep Marine Biosphere

At the bottom of the Oceans, kilometers into the underlying sediments and further down in the oceanic crust, thrives a vast community. Although unknown to most it is home to billions and billions and billions of individuals and covers some 60% of our planets surface. The majority of the estimated 10^29 organisms are microbes. Their activity is crucial for global fluxes from the subsurface to the surface world, including important greenhouse gasses.

Considering the size and distribution it can be difficult to understand that this significant part of the Earths biosphere have gone unnoticed until the mid 80’s and still is massively understudied. However, it is a habitat that is extraordinarily difficult to access and it requires advanced technology and a rather large wallet to obtain sample material.

These webpages are dedicated to a research group trying to get a better understanding of the functioning and significance of the deep marine biosphere. The group is lead by Steffen L Jørgensen and is part of the Centre for Deep Sea Research.

Our work is generously supported by the Trond Mohn Foundation through their starting grant, the Research Council of Norway and the University of Bergen