School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Event items

Exploring deep subseafloor life and the biosphere: What are the limits of habitability?

Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences Seminar Series - Dr Fumio Inagaki, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Date/Time: Tuesday 2 October, 10:00 - 11:00

Venue: The Core, Bath Lane, Newcastle Helix, NE4 5TF


Over the past decades, marine scientists have discovered microbial life in sediment and crust at various oceanographic and geological settings through scientific ocean drilling.

To date, the occurrence of deep subseafloor life on the Pacific margins, organic-rich anaerobic sedimentary environments, has been observed down to ~2.5 km below the ocean floor.

Interdisciplinary analytical data show that the deeply buried microbial communities have long played biogeochemical roles in carbon and other elemental cycling in situ.

What are the factors that limit the extent of the deep subseafloor biosphere?

Recent advance of super-clean geomicrobiology facilities and high-precision isotope geochemistry and microbiological techniques is underpinning our knowledge of the limits and functionality of deep subseafloor life, establishing a new foundation of the deep subseafloor biosphere as one of the Earth’s planetary subsystems.


  • Deputy Director, R&D Center for Ocean Drilling Sciences (ODS)
  • Deputy Director, Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research
  • Group Leader, Geomicrobiology Group, Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research
  • Group Leader, Geobiotechnology Group, R&D Center for Submarine Resources

If you are keen to meet with Fumio to discuss aspects of his research, there will be some time available on Monday 1st October – please contact to arrange a time slot.