Professor Bopi Biddanda is an aquatic microbial ecologist studying the movement of carbon driven by microbes at the Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University. He grew up in the lush subtropical mountains of SW India, and came to the US in the 1980’s to obtain a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia. Subsequently, he went on research and teaching adventures at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), National Institute of Oceanography (India), University of Texas Marine Science Institute (Texas), University of Rio Grande (Brazil) and University of Minnesota (Minnesota). For the last decade and a half at GVSU, he has been studying the microbial cycling of elements in the Laurentian Great Lakes – exploring life in extreme environments such as Lake Huron’s sinkholes and operating a world-class time-series buoy observatory in Muskegon Lake. He teaches classes in Marine Biology and Aquatic Ecology, and directs NASA’s Michigan Space Grant Consortium programs at GVSU. He hopes to continue to study Earth’s lakes – one of our most vital freshwater commons – as sentinels of change.
In this public presentation, Prof. Biddanda will share the excitement of over a decade of exploration of life in Lake Huron’s sinkholes carried out in collaboration with TBNMS, and ponder the relevance of these findings to major issues of both scientific and societal interest such as Earth’s current biologic and physiologic diversity, oxygenation of early Earth in the distant past, and humanity’s ongoing search for extra-terrestrial life.