Additional Field Team

East Antarctica

Alfonso Davila, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute

Dr. Alfonso Davila is currently a Principal Investigator at the Carl Sagan Center for the Search of Life in the Universe. Previously he did a three-year postdoctorate in the Planetary and Space Science Division at the NASA Ames Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in Geophysics by the University of Munich in 2005 in the study of biogenic magnetite in bacteria and higher organisms. He is a graduate in Marine Sciences from the University of Vigo (Spain). For more information, please visit Dr. Davila's Staff Profile.


Valery Galchenko, Ph.D.

Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Moscow

Dr. Valery Galchenko is a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Science (RAS), a Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Microorganism Classification and Storage, and Director of the Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology RAS. For over 35 years, he has studied the taxonomy, biology, and ecology of methane-oxidizing bacteria, as well as the biogeochemical processes of the carbon cycle (methane oxidation and production, photosynthesis, organic matter decomposition, etc.) in seas and oceans, in three methane seep sites, and in nine sites of Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents. To learn more, please visit the Winogradsky Institute website.


Vladimir Akimov, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology, Moscow

Dr. Vladimir Akimov's research interests include general microbial ecology and that of extreme environments, molecular ecology, and microbial systematics and phylogeny. He has completed in situ studies of the activity and composition of microbial communities in Antarctic lakes, as well as the isolation and characterization of bacterial and archaeal psychrophilic and psychrotolerant organisms. To learn more, please visit the Winogradsky Institute website.



Michael Becker

Doctoral Student
McGill University, Montreal

Michael Becker has conducted fieldwork in the extreme polar latitutes of the Canadian arctic. His thesis focuses on the dynamic nature of ice-wedge polygons and their interaction with the overlying ecosystem's vegetation. He is describing the interaction between the two as a process of landscape evolution in light of a changing climate. To learn more, please visit Michael S. and McGill University's Faculty Page.