Scientists from Italy and TSU are investigating the bacteria pioneers

With scientists from Tomsk State University, Stefano Ventura, an expert from the National Research Council of Italy, is conducting research on bacteria that are colonizing the area after the retreat of glaciers at TSU’s station Aktru in Gorny Altai.

The work is carried out in the international research and monitoring programme on the Arctic INTERACT 2.

- We study the areas that have been freed from the glacier. They are colonized by living organisms, plants, and microbes. No one has studied how bacteria inhabit this area, and Stefano Ventura is a highly qualified specialist. This work will allow us to reach a new level – said Sergey Kirpotin, the director of the BioClimLand (Biota-Climate-Landscapes) Centre.

As a result of the retreat of glaciers, empty areas of the earth's surface are exposed. They are first populated by bacteria, which saturate the soil with organic and nitrogen, preparing it for the growth of plants. In Russia, no one has studied the bacteria, so the project implemented at the Aktru station is a pioneer.

Studies are conducted in the summer school to study the Arctic and alpine areas in a rapidly changing climate. The Master’s students of the programme Study of Siberia and the Arctic and other summer schools are taking part in the work.

- The programme of the school includes a variety of comprehensive excursions and research. Students will be divided into small groups and will participate in real research projects, - said Sergey Kirpotin.

Terry Callaghan, professor at TSU and Sheffield University, Margarita Johansson, secretary of the SCANNET / INTERACT network, and other Russian and international researchers also will take part in the summer school.

- There are many reasons why people join this summer school. This is an opportunity to get a unique experience in this area and learn many new things. In addition, there are many different objects to explore that are difficult to find together in another area, - said Terry Callaghan.

Research in glaciology, hydrology, meteorology, geomorphology, botany, zoology, soil science, and other sciences has been conducted at the station Aktru for more than 50 years. The first International Summer School on Climate Problems was held at the Aktru in July 2011, with scientists from 9 countries. After this first successful experience, it was decided to make the summer school regular. The station Aktru is a part of the international network of polar and high-altitude research INTERACT, whose leader is Professor Terry Callaghan, a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, a scientific consultant of the TSU’s Centre for Excellence BioClimLand.