Introduction to the Pavilion Lake Research Project

Read the News from the PLRP project leads and view the public calendar.

The Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) is an international, multi-disciplinary, science and exploration effort to explain the origin of freshwater microbialites in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Fossil microbialites represent some of the earliest remnants of life on ancient Earth, and were common from ~2.5 billion to 540 million years ago. Today, microbialites are found in environments where conditions are often too harsh for most organisms. However, the microbialites in both Pavilion and Kelly lakes have provided a new environment for the scientific community to study. These lakes demonstrate that large and uniquely shaped structures can also occur in non-extreme environments that also support fish, plants and other species. The microbialites of these modern lakes are relevant to our understanding of ancient microbiaites that were once common and diverse on early Earth, as such, Pavilion Lake has become an exciting field site for Earth scientists and astrobiologists who are interested in the application of the PLRP research to the search for life in our solar system and beyond.

Donnie Reid
Logistics and Operations Manager
Logistics for the 2011 PLRP field season.


PLRP Twitter Feed

Recent Blog Posts

PLRP Phase 3 and Beyond

by Darlene Lim on December 31st, 2012

Many of you have been wondering what the PLRP team has been up to since our last field deployment to Kelly Lake in July 2011.  Well, the answer is that the team has been busier than ever analyzing our field data, updating upon the Exploration Ground Data System (xGDS), and bringing our work to fruition in the form of peer-reviewed academic publications.  We have also had new collaborators join the team from Canada and throughout the US. Two of our…

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2011 Comms – No Small Feat

by admin on July 25th, 2011

Check it out here. Communications geniuses: Mike “Mountain Dew” Down, Marc Seibert, Mike Miller By Rafferty Pendery

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Funding and support provided by:

PLRP is funded by the CSA CARN program and NASA MMAMA program. Additional funding provided by NASA ESMD Analogs, NASA ASTEP and Nuytco Research. Previous support for the program has also been received from the NASA Spaceward Bound Program, the National Geographic Society, and McMaster University.


All of us at the PLRP would like to gratefully thank the following groups for their continuing support and kindness:

• The community of Pavilion Lake and the town of Clinton, B.C.
• The Ts'kw'aylaxw people and the Pavilion First Nations Indian Band
• The Whispering Pines Indian Band
• B.C. Parks and the B.C. Ministry of Environment
• Edge Diving Centre, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
• B.C. dive community
• Mr. Jim Thompson (Clinton, B.C.)

Last, but not least, we would like to express a very special thanks to Mickey and Linda Macri of Pavilion Lake for their limitless kindness, hospitality, and encouragement over the years.