About the Group

The Priscu Research group at Montana State University focuses on understanding the biogeochemistry and microbiology of icy environments. Led by Dr. John Priscu, the group conducts NSF and NASA funded research in both Antarctica and the Arctic, and is a part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) Program in Antarctica. Current areas of research include:

  1. long term ecological studies of Antarctic lakes,
  2. methane dynamics in Arctic lakes as an analogue for life on other icy worlds,
  3. exploration and geomicrobiology of Antarctic subglacial lakes, and
  4. microbiology, geochemistry and paleoclimate history of polar and temperate ice cores.

The Group is also actively involved in outreach and education. Visit one of the links below for details on our currently funded projects.

Current Funded Research Projects

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Ecosystem Response to Amplified Landscape Connectivity in the McMurdo Dy Valleys, Antarctica. 2017-2023Funded by National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs.


Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling. 2009-2017Funded by National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs.


Habitability of Antarctic lakes and detectability of microbial life in icy environments by autonomous year-round instrumentation. 2013-2016. Funded by National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs / NASA Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP).


Wire-Line Analysis Tool for Subsurface Observations of Northern-ice-sheets. 2015-2018. Funded by NASA Planetary Science and Technology from Analog Research (PSTAR) / NASA Astrobiology.


Collaborative Research: Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access. 2015-2018Funded by NSF Division of Polar Programs (PLR) Antarctic Integrated Systems Science.