Danakil Depression, Ethiopia. Stretches from the Dallol Volcano to Lake Assal. The plain is one of the most impressive depressions in the Afar and one of the most inhospitable areas on Earth. A large number of extreme environments form an intricate complex geological and biological setting comprising volcanoes, hydrothermal systems, slat flats and deposits, and extreme microbial communities. Volcanic activity started more than 5 million years ago and continues today in the form of hydrothermal vents and the active Erta Ale volcano. Further research is planned by IRSPS to fully characterize the region (geological and hydrological maps and a reconnaissance study of the biota). The field site will be managed by Professor Ori (IRSPS) who works closely with Professor Mirtus Hagos of the University of Mekele and Barbara Cavalazzi University of Bologna.