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Río Tinto, fundamental and applied aspects of a terrestrial Mars analogue

Life and Matter Sciences International Symposium June 6-7, 2017 Madrid

General information

Venue: Salón de Actos de Biología Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Darwin, 2. 28049. Madrid

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

In cooperation with:

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Coordinator/s:

Ricardo Amils Pibernat Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM) and Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC)

  • Description
  • Programme

Río Tinto (Iberian Pyrite Belt, SW Iberian Peninsula) is a 92 km long extreme acidic river product of the metabolic activity of chemolithotrophic microorganisms thriving in the high concentration of metal sulfides of the Iberian Pyrite Belt. Río Tinto is considered one of the best geochemical and mineralogical terrestrial analogues of Mars. An extensive microbial ecology study during the last thirty years has identified the most important metabolic activities operating in the water column, the sediments and the subsurface of this peculiar ecosystem. For this reason the Fundación Ramón Areces organize in collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid this International Symposium which is intended to put together geologist, geomicrobiologists, astrobiologists, environmentalists and miners interested in the Tinto basin or any other extreme environment that by comparison could improve our comprehension of the role of chemolithotrophy in the origin of life and ore deposits formation, the generation of extreme acidic conditions, the biological influence in the dissolution and precipitation of minerals, , the great eukaryotic diversity associated to these environments, its biotechnological application for metal extraction and bioremediation, and its astrobiological interest as a model system for past or present life on Mars.

Tuesday, 6

9:30

Opening Session

José María Sanz
Rector Universidad Autonóma de Madrid.

José María Carrascosa
Decano Facultad de Ciencias. UAM.

Federico Mayor Zaragoza
Presidente Consejo Científico Fundación Ramón Areces.

José María Medina
Vicepresidente Consejo Científico Fundación Ramón Areces.

Ricardo Amils Pibernat
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM).

SESSION 1: Introduction and geology

10:00

Rio Tinto a panoply of trips: from the Interstellar Medium to the Archaic to the Future and in between

Juan Pérez Mercader
Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC) y Harvard University, Boston, E.E.U.U.

10:45
Pyrite as a window to ancient environments and life on and beyond Earth

Timothy Lyons
University of California Riverside, E.E.U.U.

11:30

Break

12:00

Microbes control the world class Iberian Pyrite Belt

Fernando Tornos
Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid.

12:45

Bacteria-mineral interactions in iron oxide systems

Gordon Southam
Queensland University, Australia.

13:30

General discussion

14:00

Break

SESSION 2: Geomicrobiology and environment

16:00

Beyond the Tinto: acidophilic communities in surface and subterranean metal mining environments

Barrie Johnson
Bangor University, Bangor, Reino Unido.

16:45

Anaerobic bioremediation of arsenic in contaminated waters

James A. Field
Arizona University, Arizona, E.E.U.U.

17:30

Break

18:00

Plants, metals and biomineralization in the Tinto basin

Vicenta de la Fuente
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid.

18:45

Some like it acidic: acidophilic algae in Río Tinto

Ángeles Aguilera
Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid.

19:30

General discussion

Wednesday, 7

SESSION 3: Astrobiology (I)

9:30

Anaerobic metabolisms in a terrestrial analogue of Mars: Río Tinto

José Luis Sanz
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid.

10:15

The Planet within: Subsurface Microbial Life on Earth, Mars and Beyond

Penélope Boston
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, E.E.U.U.

11:00

Break

11:30

Pyrite, Pyracy and Pathogens: a New Tale from Río Tinto

Linda Amaral
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, E.E.U.U.

12:15

Searching for life in planetary exploration: from Río Tinto to Mars*

Victor Parro
Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid.
*This conference will have a connection via skype with the team of researchers from NASA and the Centro de Astrobiología which are working in Río Tinto testing probes to be send in future exploration missions to Mars.

13:00

General discussion

14:00

Break

SESSION 4: Astrobiology (II)

16:00

Rio Tinto and Reading the Geologic record of Mars

David Fernández Remolar
Luleå University of Technology, Luleå , Suecia.

16:45

Viruses in extreme environments: the great unknown

Antonio Alcamí
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM), Madrid.

17:30

Break

18:00

Dallol, a new extreme acidic environment of astrobiological interest

Felipe Gómez
Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid.

18:45

Lessons learned from thirty years of research in the Tinto basin

Ricardo Amils
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC-UAM) y Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid.

19:30

General discussion and closing remarks

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