Mathematical research

Jackson research on hot spring drainage published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Research by Benjamin Jackson, associate professor of mathematics, and fellow researchers from Montana State University has been published in the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Their work focused on the effects of water flowing over a microbial mat in Yellowstone National Park’s Octopus Hot Spring on cellular extremophile life forms in the spring water.

Jackson’s contributions to the project included creating a mathematical model of the hot spring drainage system. Developing the model meant making multiple trips to Yellowstone during each season to measure the velocity of water flowing out of the hot spring channel and months of research on cell counts through microscopy and image analysis.

Jackson has been collaborating on this project since 2011 when he was a graduate student at Montana State University. The paper titled “Relationship between Microorganisms Inhabiting Alkaline Siliceous Hot Spring Mat Communities and Overflowing Water” is the culmination of those years of research and was supported by a large research grant.

To read the paper, visit Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Posted Feb. 12, 2021

person with tripod near a hotspring with trees behind them.
Jackson sets up data collection equipment at Octopus Spring in Yellowstone National Park.