Microbial Life in Extreme Environments

The study of extremophiles challenges our concept of the limits of life, informs our quest for the comprehensive tree of life, and helps us to understand how evolution has taken place.

About Microbial Extremes

Learn about microbial life in extreme environments: What makes an environment extreme? How has life adapted to these types environments? What is the history of life on Earth... and beyond?

Who Are the Extremophiles?

What is an extremophile? Discover terminology used to describe life in extreme environments and browse related resource collections.

Types of Extreme Environments

Explore the various types of extreme environments and view related resource collections. Learn how astrobiologists apply the study of these environments on Earth to answer questions about other planetary bodies.

Topics of Interest

These investigative case studies and special collections are dedicated to extreme microbes. Learn how they can survive in boiling hot springs, in water that is three times as salty as the ocean, or in a river of pH 2.

Online Resources

Search the collection of internet resources - including websites, articles, images, data sets, teaching activities, and more - dedicated to microbial life in extreme environments.

Resources for K-12 Teachers and Students

Bring the world of extremophiles into the classroom with this collection of resources for K-12 teachers and students, including online WebQuests and activities.