Scientists have used the same methods that will soon be used to search for evidence of life on Mars to look for evidence of the earliest forms of life on Earth at a location in South Australia.

Sea ice

An international group of leading microbiologists have issued a warning, saying that not including microbes – the support system of the biosphere – in the climate change equation will have major negative flow-on effects.


A discovery that microbes in Antarctica can scavenge hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air to stay alive in such extreme conditions has implications for the search for life on other planets.



UNSW-led research has uncovered a battle raging beneath the waves as armies of tiny microbes fight to determine whether exotic marine plants invade new territory and replace native species.


UNSW Sydney scientists studying microbes from some of the saltiest lakes in Antarctica have discovered a new way that the tiny organisms can share DNA that could help them grow and survive.


An unprecedented global survey of marine sponges – the most ancient multicellular lifeforms on Earth— has revealed they make a massive contribution to the total microbial diversity of the world’s oceans.


UNSW-led researchers have discovered a way to produce a tenfold increase in the amount of methane gas emitted by naturally occurring microbes living in coal seams and on food waste.

sea microbes

Microbes may be tiny, but their huge number and diversity mean they can be used to identify environmental impacts early, potentially limiting greater harm to larger organisms, write Katherine Dafforn, Emma Johnston, Inke Falkner and Melanie Sun.


Decades of heavy industry have resulted in extreme levels of pollution in our waterways. UNSW Associate Professor Mike Manefield and his team have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria that literally breathes away these pollutants.

manefield pollution

Adding pollution-eating micobes to a standard remediation practice involving iron can dramatically speed up the breakdown of toxic industrial chemicals in groundwater, UNSW research shows.