Nov 042009
Authors: Chris O’Toole

University Distinguished Professor Diana Wall will present findings from several research excursions to ice-free areas in Antarctica tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton.

The research examined how soil disturbances affect tiny –/sometimes microscopic — worms that live on the desolate continent.

As a biology professor and the director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Wall’s work has taken her from the tropics to the frozen corners of the Earth in search of answers on how environmental activities impact soil ecosystems.

Her research in Antarctica took place in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, which make up the largest area of Antarctica that is completely ice-free.

The nearly inhospitable environment is home to the lowest level of carbon diversity on the planet, allowing for only the most basic life forms to survive, including nematodes, or tiny worms, according to her program’s Web site.

Staff writer Chris O’Toole can be reached at

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