University of Hawaii at Manoa
2010-2011 Distinguished Lecturer
Life in the Vast Subseafloor Basaltic Aquifer

The oceanic basaltic crust represents the largest habitable aquifer on Earth and sophisticated observatories, called CORKs, are offering unprecedented opportunities for interdisciplinary studies of this biosphere.

Dr. Cowen will examine the emerging hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological data to consider contrasting hypotheses dealing with the magnitude and nature of the deep basement biosphere.He will also discuss CORK observatories, submersibles, and related technologies required to explore the most remote biosphere on Earth.

Dr. Cowen has sailed on IODP Expedition 327 to the Juan de Fuca Ridge and has dived in the Alvin submersible to conduct subseafloor research with CORK observatories.


November 22, 2010 – University of Texas at Dallas
November 30, 2010 – University of Missouri-Columbia
December 2, 2010 – Michigan State University
January 27, 2011 – University of Pittsburgh
February 8, 2011 – Tufts University
February 24, 2011 – Old Dominion University
February 25, 2011 – Virginia Museum of Natural History