Microbiology of mobile desert sand dunes

Program or topic

Microbiology of mobile desert sand dunes

Department(s) or unit(s)

Dept.  of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Contact Information

Michel Louge
Sibley School of
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University
192 Rhodes Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

ph: (607) 255 4193

Program goals

Our objective is to devise a microbiological technique to stabilize mobile sand dunes in a hyper-arid desert and protect civil infrastructure against desertification.

Brief description

In collaboration with Cornell’s department of Microbiology and the Weill-Cornell Medical College in Doha (Qatar), we use ultra-sensitive instruments to determine whether humidity and temperature conditions below the surface of mobile desert sand dunes are conducive to the growth of indigenous microbes. We establish their presence on sand grains using microscopic observations, fluorescence counts, metagenomic sequencing, and C12/C13 isotope analysis of carbon dioxide sampled below the surface.

For more information

This work is carried out in collaboration with Anthony Hay (Microbiology) and Renee Richer (Weill-Cornell Medical College in Doha).



Category: Terrestrial

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