James Holden is an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he began his appointment as an Assistant Professor in 2003. His research is focused primarily on microorganisms that grow optimally above 80°C, or so-called ‘hyperthermophiles’, from geothermal environments in the deep sea and on land. He has made 11 dives in the research submarine to depths exceeding 2 km, and was the chief scientist of two oceanographic research cruises with in 2008 and 2009 at sites in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Dr. Holden’s field research examines microbial life in the subsurface biosphere, the distribution and abundances of specific types of microorganisms and their relation with environmental factors, numerical modeling of methane production, microbial responses to volcanic eruptions, and the upper temperature limit for life. His laboratory research is interested in physiological mechanisms of anaerobic respiration and CO2 assimilation in hyperthermophilic archaea. His biotechnology interests are related to high temperature bioreactors for biofuel production and bioprospecting for high-temperature sugar processing enzymes.
Interviews with James HoldenJames Holden explores life thriving in deep, hot undersea vents