Unseen World Comes to Life with the Help of a TBI Researcher

Yellowstone National Park is one of the world’s truly extraordinary places. Its landscape, dominated by a great volcanic caldera and sculpted over millennia by water and glacial ice, is host to a dramatically complex flora and fauna. But there is more to Yellowstone’s wonders than meets the eye. A nearly unexplored world awaits the curious in the park’s streams, lakes and hot springs. This world of microbes—the  bacteria, algae, diatoms, and other microscopic organisms living in Yellowstone—is now accessible to the public as never before.

The book Seen and Unseen: Discovering the Microbes of Yellowstone, published in 2005 by the Globe Pequot Press under the direction of TBI researcher Kathy Sheehan and with partial funding from TBI, takes readers on a spectacular and colorful tour of Yellowstone’s microbial flora and fauna. Photographed using state-of-the-art technology, each microbe in the book is presented together with photographs of the environment in which the organism is found, from high alpine lakes and rivers to boiling and acidic hot springs.

The book helps to introduce the public to the microscopic organisms which form the very foundation of the Yellowstone ecosystem, from the microbes that allow bison to digest grass to the thermophillic bacteria that color many of Yellowstone’s scalding hot springs.  Seen and Unseen provides the general public with a comprehensive introduction to Yellowstone’s invisible ecosystems.