Title

Microorganisms Found in a Metal-impacted Stream, Blackbird Creek, Idaho

Presenter

Lena Goss

Abstract

This study investigates the key role that microorganisms play in the iron cycle. In metal-rich environments, microorganisms interact with iron by catalyzing oxidation, reduction, and precipitation reactions, and forming biogenic minerals. Iron-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) that live in neutral environments are unique since these bacteria have to compete with the rapid chemical oxidation of reduced iron that occurs at neutral pH. The primary research objective was to see what FeOB can be detected in the neutral, iron-rich environment of Blackbird Creek, which flows from the retired Blackbird Mine in Cobalt, Idaho. The significance of FeOB interactions pertains to environmental cleanup and mine remediation, as the bacteria help to remove the iron from the stream water through biomineralization. The preliminary findings indicate that FeOB were in fact present in Blackbird Creek, along with a large variety of aquatic bacteria.

Faculty Sponsor

Bryn Kimball

Sponsor Department/Programs

Geology

Tracks

Poster Session

Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Arthur Belden Watts Student Field Research Fund

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Apr 19th, 1:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:00 PM

Microorganisms Found in a Metal-impacted Stream, Blackbird Creek, Idaho

Cordiner Hall

This study investigates the key role that microorganisms play in the iron cycle. In metal-rich environments, microorganisms interact with iron by catalyzing oxidation, reduction, and precipitation reactions, and forming biogenic minerals. Iron-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) that live in neutral environments are unique since these bacteria have to compete with the rapid chemical oxidation of reduced iron that occurs at neutral pH. The primary research objective was to see what FeOB can be detected in the neutral, iron-rich environment of Blackbird Creek, which flows from the retired Blackbird Mine in Cobalt, Idaho. The significance of FeOB interactions pertains to environmental cleanup and mine remediation, as the bacteria help to remove the iron from the stream water through biomineralization. The preliminary findings indicate that FeOB were in fact present in Blackbird Creek, along with a large variety of aquatic bacteria.