The D’Hondt lab addresses fundamental problems in geobiology, with particular focus on subseafloor life. We analyze the composition and diversity of microbial communities in seawater and sediment. We study the metabolic activities of subseafloor communities, the structure of subseafloor ecosystems, and the processes that nourish subseafloor life. We assess the extent to which environmental properties, particularly low flux of bioavailable energy, limit the existence of life. We test the dependence of subseafloor ecosystems on the surface world. We assess their effects on the composition of Earth’s ocean, atmosphere and mantle.

As members of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) and the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), we collaborate with scientists from around the world to advance understanding of subsurface life.


Steven D’Hondt

Graduate School of Oceanography

University of Rhode Island

Narragansett Bay Campus

215 South Ferry Road

Narragansett, RI 02882

Drillship JOIDES Resolution at the start of ODP Leg 201 (photo: H. Cypionka).

The D’Hondt Lab

at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography