Invitation for the Symposium «Rio Tinto, fundamental and applied aspects of a terrestrial mars analogue»:
«Rio Tinto (Iberian Pyrite Belt, SW Spain), is a 92 km long extreme acidic river, product of the metabolic activity of chemolithotrophic microorganisms thriving in the high concentration of metal sulfides of the Iberian Pyrite Belt and considered one of the best geochemical and mineralogical terrestrial analogues of the wet past of Mars.
An extensive microbial ecology study during the last thirty years has identified the most important metabolic activities operating in the water column, the sediments and the subsurface of this peculiar ecosystem. This three day transdisciplinary Symposium aims to gather the experience and knowledge of geologists, geomicrobiologists, astrobiologists, environmentalists and miners interested in the Tinto basin as well as other extreme environments. Through comparison and discussion we will improve our understanding of the role of chemolithotrophy in the origin of life along with the formation of ore deposits, the generation of extreme acidic conditions, the biological influence on dissolution and precipitation of minerals, its biotechnological use for metal extraction, recovery and bioremediation, the eukaryotic diversity associated to these environments and the astrobiological interest it has as a model system for past or present life on Mars.
Two field trips are being offered, one centered on the past and present day influence of microorganisms in the ore forming processes in the Iberian Pyrite Belt and the other on the geomicrobiological and environmental aspects of the Tinto basin.
The Symposium, organized by the Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (UAM-CSIC) and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) will take place June 5th to 7th, 2017, on the campus of the UAM, easy to reach from downtown Madrid. We would like to see you in Madrid for this important transdisciplinary event».Fuente: Ricardo Amils, Researcher at the Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Full Professor of Microbiology and Chairman of RTs