Investigating the Origin, Evolution, and Complexity of Life in Ice

The Institute's work centers on developing non-destructive, non-contact technology capable of finding and characterizing microbial life living in icy ecosystems. We are particularly interested in the ability of microbial life to survive in the ices of Earth's cryosphere, and their adaptation to global warming. We transfer promising technology to medical diagnostic tasks including pathogen recognition and cancer detection.

International interdisciplinary team exploring Lake Untersee, high in the mountains of Dronning Maud Land, Russian Sector, Antarctica. This meromictic lake, covered with ice for at least 10,000 years, hosts a rich photosynthetic microbial community within the ice of the lake.

For further information contact 

Michael C. Storrie-Lombardi, M.D.

Executive Director


The Institute is a California non-profit 501c organization devoted to exploration, research and education.


“Understanding the origin of life and its distribution in the Universe is too important to leave to adults.”

From conversations with Alec, age 5, circa 1996