Microbial Insights, Inc. Advances Environmental Understanding with Over $90K Contribution of Microbial and Nematode Analysis for Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 12/21/2023 – Microbial Insights, Inc., a pioneering leader in microbial testing, has proudly donated over $90,000 worth of advanced microbial analyses to support Discover Life in America’s groundbreaking research initiatives within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This collaboration aims to deepen the understanding of microscopic organisms inhabiting the park’s soil, investigating their interactions within diverse environments and potential changes over time.
The ambitious project involved the collection of soil samples from 22 distinct locations across the park, with three additional sampling sites scheduled for collection during the winter months. These meticulously selected sampling spots span a spectrum of ecosystems within the park, ranging from grassy balds, diverse hardwood forests, spruce/fir forests, caves, roadside locations, and native grasslands that encompass various watersheds.
Working hand-in-hand with Microbial Insights, Discover Life in America staff and interns collaborated closely with microbiology professor Dr. Sean O’Connell and his students from Western Carolina University. This collaborative effort is anticipated to both enhance the knowledge of what microscopic organisms live in the variety of ecosystems found within the park and may also shed light on the intricate relationship between microbial communities in oak root zones and the critical process of nitrogen cycling in high elevation forests.
DLiA intern, Emerie Landers collects soil sample in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by RJ Smith
Dora Taggart, CEO of Microbial Insights said, “For over three decades, Microbial Insights has been advancing science and understanding biodiversity in diverse ecosystems on this planet and beyond. It is a pleasure to partner with DLiA and offer our molecular characterization to increase our knowledge of these important ecological resources.”
DLiA interns Emerie Landers, Laura Dixson and DLiA’s Director of Science and Research, Dr. Will Kuhn collect soil samples documents – photo by RJ Smith
Discover Life in America, one of four nonprofit park partners for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has been dedicated to studying and preserving the biodiversity of the Smokies for over 25 years. This collaboration serves to augment the renowned All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, furthering the organization’s mission to catalog all living species within the park.
“There’s still so much we don’t know about life in the soil and yet it’s so important to the functioning of our ecosystem,” said Dr. Will Kuhn, DLiA’s Director of Science and Research, who led DLiA interns on a 2-day backcountry expedition to collect soil samples this past summer. “This work gives us a snapshot of that life here in the Smokies.”
The invaluable data collected and analyzed through this collaboration will serve as a cornerstone in advancing scientific knowledge, bolstering the comprehensive understanding of the intricate web of life thriving within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
DLiA interns Emerie Landers (middle) & Laura Dixson collect soil samples while RJ Smith documents – photo by DLiA’s Director of Science and Research, Dr. Will Kuhn
About Microbial Insights, Inc.: Microbial Insights, Inc. is a leading provider of microbial analysis services, utilizing state-of-the-art techniques to offer insights into the microbial world. With a commitment to environmental stewardship, the company supports environmental remediation and research initiatives worldwide, contributing to a safer planet and a deeper understanding of ecosystems.
About Discover Life in America: Discover Life in America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to biodiversity discovery and conservation within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Through research, education, and collaboration, DLiA strives to preserve and understand the rich tapestry of life in one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. For more information about the important work that DLiA does, visit www.dlia.org.