Skip to main content


Cohort part of (WISSARD) project team in Antarctica

Research Achievements

Cohort part of (WISSARD) project team in Antarctica

Montana State University (MSU) IGERT trainee, Alex Michaud, along with five other MSU faculty and graduate students were part of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Research Access Drilling (WISSARD) project in Antarctica. The WISSARD project successfully accessed and sampled subglacial Lake Whillans 800 m below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on 27 Jan 2013. The Montana State University cohort was an integral part of the team demonstrating the first conclusive evidence of life below the Antarctic ice sheet. Samples are currently at Montana State University and analysis is underway to understand the structure and function of the microbial communities present in the subglacial lake environment. Dr. John Priscu, an IGERT-affiliated faculty member and chief scientist for the WISSARD project, received funding from the NSF-Office of Polar Programs and serves as primary mentor for Mr. Michaud, who will work on samples collected during this field expedition as part of his research program.