Joseph Cook

2016 Young Laureate, Exploration
United Kingdom, Born 1986

jmcook1186@gmail.com

Project Goal

Explore and communicate how polar ice micro-organisms help shape our world 

Location: Greenland

"There is the fascination of exploring an immense living system at the extreme end of the earth, and which may affect our own future."

The vivid hues of Arctic ice reflect a “frozen rainforest” of billions of microscopic organisms that live within it – a vast and cryptic influence over the fate of the ice sheets and maybe even the planet itself. British polar microbiologist Joseph Cook’s “Ice Alive” mission will bring to light how this relatively obscure ecosystem helps to shape the ice of the northern hemisphere, how it may drive changes in the Earth’s climate, nutrient and carbon cycles, which in turn affect humanity. Support from his Rolex Award allows him to plan further expeditions – to investigate how ice microbes survive, how they influence the Earth system and their potential value to humanity.

.1 – 1.0

Temperature in Celsius at which micro-organisms in the ice are highly active.

Other 2016 Young Laureates