Oregon State University; Oregon State University - Cascades; OSU-Cascades; Science Pub; OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science; Rick Colwell; Frederick Colwell

Frederick “Rick” Colwell is a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science at OSU.

Apr 08, 2019

In recent decades, researchers have discovered an underworld teeming with life deep beneath the Earth’s surface. At Oregon State University – Cascades’ upcoming Science Pub, OSU microbiologist Frederick “Rick” Colwell will discuss microbes that live hundreds of meters below our feet, and the role they play in the underground biosphere.   

The Science Pub, “What You Need to Know About the Little, Deep Earth Zombies,” will take place on Tuesday, April 16 in Father Luke’s Room at McMenamins Old St. Francis in Bend.

Colwell is a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science at OSU.  His research focuses on geomicrobiology - the microbiology of earth systems – and particularly deep earth systems. His studies focus on microbial activities and microbial community diversity in deep subsurface locations, and have involved scientific drilling expeditions on land and at sea.

In his presentation, Colwell will explore how researchers penetrate the Earth and access core samples from kilometers beneath them from mine shafts and ocean drilling platforms. He will also shed light on the microorganisms – many of them with zombie-like features – that live deep beneath us, and the life they live and purpose they have.

Colwell is one of more than 1,000 scientists from around the globe contributing to the Deep Carbon Observatory, a 10-year effort to understand the quantities, movements, forms and origins of carbon inside Earth.

He received a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, both in microbiology.

Science Pubs take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Networking, and food and beverage service begin at 5:30 p.m., and the presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. Science Pubs are free to community members, but reservations are required. Space is limited to 100 guests. 

Registration must occur by 5 p.m. the day prior to each Science Pub at osucascades.edu/sciencepubs.

Note to Editors: Digital images are available for download and use with this article: https://beav.es/Ziy and https://beav.es/ZiF   

About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.