We are a question-motivated lab that aims to connect modern microbe-mineral interactions with Precambrian biogeochemical cycles to understand the evolution of metabolisms and environments over time.

Our Approach

We use microscale and nanoscale techniques to extract primary information from Precambrian rocks and study modern biogeochemical processes to fully understand what these original minerals signal. We combine this with laboratory experiments to understand processes on a mechanistic level with modern field analogues to probe similar natural and complex environments, and tackle these integrated approaches using a variety of spectroscopic and microscale imaging tools. Check out our facilities below.

Facilities

(Starting May 2018)
The Microbe-Mineral lab will be a general purpose wet chemical laboratory with equipment for culturing and solution chemistry analyses, including an analytical balance, UV-vis spec, large and mini centrifuges, fridges, freezer, ovens, shaking incubators, pH meters, and a MilliQ water purifier. We will also have a -80 freezer, shared autoclaves, and a Raman microprobe and double glove box as shown below:

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Double Glovebox System

Our lab will have two controlled-atmosphere spaces to recreate Precambrian-like environments

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Raman Microprobe

Our Raman microscope can image, characterize, and co-register minerals and DNA at micron-scale

Synchrotrons

We travel to synchrotron facilities worldwide to analyze the chemical speciation and structure of elements such as Mn and Fe.

We also have access to campus user facilities, such as our departmental Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory (EMAL)