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Survival of the fittest -- ESF hosts session on the challenges of life in extreme environments
Date:3/16/2012

Have you ever wondered how life is sustained in environments like deserts, deep seas or the polar regions? How do organisms adapt and thrive in such harsh conditions, and what challenges do they face as a result of human activities and climate change, especially climate "extremization"? Shedding light on some of these issues is the objective of the European Science Foundation's (ESF) session on 27 March at Planet Under Pressure 2012. The session will look at different aspects of life in extreme environments - from knowledge to sustainable exploitation of new resources under growing pressures. Recognizing the pivotal role of extreme environments at planetary level, the ESF-hosted session will be also endorsed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) through the programme dedicated to land-atmosphere interactions (iLEAPS).

A selection of outstanding speakers from across Europe and the US will discuss emerging ideas about sustainable exploitation of novel resources, e.g. for food or non-food biotechnology, and fine-chemistry. The presentations will highlight research on biogeochemical cycles to understand the impacts of climate change and the ecosystem responses, and to provide knowledge about adaptation, land use change, and mitigation options.

This ESF-hosted session is a follow-up of the FP7-funded Coordinated Action for Research on Life in Extreme Environments (CAREX) project and strategic roadmap - a solid scientific consensus from a community of over 220 international experts studying life in every type of extreme environment - launched last year. CAREX's identified research priorities include life's response to climate and environmental change, its adaptation methods, understanding biodiversity and interactions within extreme environments, and finding limits of habitability which could inform the search for extraterrestrial life.

The ESF-hosted session will be split into four presentations:

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Contact: Tom Reast
tom.reast@kaizo.co.uk
44-203-176-4721
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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