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Extremophiles grow in metal-rich environments that are extremely hot, acidic, alkaline or saline, and have cell wall structures that are very different from most other microorganisms. Because cell wall structure influences metal adsorption, we hypothesise that extremophiles will remove metals from water differently (in terms of selectivity, rate and degree) and under different conditions (e.g. pH, temperature) than other microorganisms. However, a systematic investigation of metal adsorption by extremophiles has never been undertaken. Even for common bacteria, the interdependent effects of growth conditions, temperature and solution composition on metal adsorption have not been adequately characterised, and predictive models are in their infancy.