Episode 10: Life Beneath the Ice

How an ecosystem survives underneath the Antarctic ice sheet

Understanding what’s happening in these lakes allows us to kind of put together another piece of what’s affecting the oceans, and what that might mean ... as climate is changing in Antarctica.
— Trista Vick-Majors

On Episode 5, a scientist named Trista Vick-Majors shared a first-person account of her team's quest to find out if there's life in lakes that are buried deep beneath the ice in Antarctica. After the story aired, several listeners asked to know more about the discoveries that Trista and her colleagues had made. So we invited her back on the show.

In this episode, Trista explains how tiny organisms cling to life in one of the least hospitable places on the planet.

 Cells from Subglacial Lake Whillans, fluorescing under the microscope. Photo by Trista Vick-Majors

Cells from Subglacial Lake Whillans, fluorescing under the microscope. Photo by Trista Vick-Majors