MIRO is a Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship (2015 – 2017) granted to Dominique Tobler  

Title: “Opening the black box: Imaging microbial behaviour inside rock”

Microbes play a primary role in regulating geochemical processes in our biosphere. This makes them highly attractive for use in subsurface remediation and engineering technologies. The main goal of this project was to test if we can visualise microbes directly, inside rock pores, at nanometre scale, to see how they are trapped or mobilised, and watch their activity by applying advanced X-ray nanotomography.

Figure 1: A) 2D tomographic image of M. gryphiswaldenseis, deposited on silicon nitride window (voxel size of 10 nm). B) Slice from 3D holotomography showing M. gryphiswaldenseis attached to pore surface in the beads column (inset shows higher magnification, voxel size of 40 nm).