New Work at Kartchner

The carbon dioxide meter has been installed at Kartchner Caverns. In A the meter is above a condensation line and is reading about 1062 ppm of carbon dioxide. In B, the meter is below a condensation line (red dashed line) and is measuring about 679 ppm. The condensation line likely separates the inflow of colder, denser outside air from warmer less dense cave air.


AGU, A Major Success

Hey Everyone,

I just returned from the AGU conference and it was a total blast. I met so many good people and attended so many interesting sessions. I didn’t take too many photos, but I’ll be posting a few of them in the coming days.



Article up on bioRxiv

Hey Everyone,

My article “Diversity and function of cave methanotrophic communities” is now up on bioRxiv. The article describes the factors that influence the composition and structure of methanotrophic communities in caves. We are observing that methanotrophs show relationships to cave-air methane concentrations and the proportion of gravel in cave sediments. Methanotrophs in caves showed no statistically significant relationships to the distance from a cave entrance, nor did the community composition vary between caves despite the fact that caves are typically observed to host insular ecological communities. Our results suggest that dispersal barriers for methanotrophs into caves, and thus other environments, may be low. The link is below.


Webster KD, Schimmelmann A, Drobniak A, Mastalerz M, Rosales Lagarde L, Boston PJ, Lennon JT (2018). Diversity and function of cave methanotrophic communities. bioRxiv

Link to Sexy Beasts Podcast is Up!

As part of Science Gallery Dublin’s ‘Life On The Edges’ I took place in a live recording of the Sexy Beasts Podcast hosted by Tony Cantwell and Marc Jago. The podcast features the extraordinary moon of Saturn, Titan, and the possibilities for life on Titan. Also joining the event was space weather scientist, Dr. Sophie Murray. Enjoy the laughs and discussions of sexy beasts. For those wondering when I come in, I’m featured in about the last 15 minutes of the show.