The 2nd Geobiology Gordon Research Conference took place from Jan 26 – 31, 2018 in lovely Galveston, TX. The conference brought together ~130 geobiologists from around the world.
Prof. Fike gave a talk on the depositional controls on pyrite isotopic composition in modern sediments and the rock record, while lab alumna Dr. Catherine Rose (faculty at St Andrews) gave a talk on carbonate-associated sulfate. Grad students Jocelyn Richardson and Roger Bryant gave outstanding posters!
We look forward to the return to Galveston for Geobiology 2020!
Graduate student Roger Bryant publishes his first paper (Bryant et al. Applied Spectroscopy), demonstrating the power of Raman spectroscopy for distinguishing differences in pyrite morphology. The research points the way toward improving our ability to reconstruct the conditions under which pyrites form in natural marine sediments. Onward!
Prof. Cole Edwards (Appalachian State), former postdoc in the lab, along with Fike, and co-authors publishes an intriguing new paper about the potential role of environmental oxygenation as a driver of the the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.The paper (Edwards et al., 2017 Nature Geoscience) generates a substantial press coverage
Oxygen levels link to ancient explosion of life
Virgil, a PhD student at the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) in Brest, France, successfully defends his doctoral thesis. Virgil’s thesis included a fantastic paper (Pasquier et al. 2017) published in PNAS earlier in the year. This paper examined the role of changing depositional conditions over the last five glacial/interglacial cycles on the formation and stable isotopic composition of pyrite in shallow marine sediments. Virgil showed that you could get enormous (>70‰), stratigraphically coherent variations in the d34S composition that change in phases with variations in sea level. This has profound implications for how we interpret d34S values from pyrites in the rock record.
Virgil is on his way to start a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Itay Halevy (Weizmann Institute) early in 2018!
Dr. David Jones (Amherst College), Fike, and co-authors publish an intriguing new paper about the potential role of volcanic activity in inducing the end-Ordovician glaciation and associated mass extinctions.
Credit: Sebastiian Crespo Getty Images
Paper (Jones et al., 2017 Geology) is picked up in the international press!
It is with a sad heart that we say goodbye to our postdoctoral fellow Maya Gomes, who has gone on to bigger and better things as an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins. We wish her all the luck in her new position! [And hope she comes back to visit often!]
The Geobiology Society kicked off its inaugural meeting June 11-14, 2017 in Banff! A great gathering of geobiologists from around the world.
Looking forward to Geobiology 2019: The Return to Banff
We recently welcomed a new postdoctoral fellow to the lab. Morgan Raven comes to us from the California Institute of Technology, where she recently defended her PhD thesis under Alex Sessions. We look forward to seeing Morgan’s next projects in the Fike lab!
In other news, the biogeochemistry group had a great weekend in Cincinnati for the fifth annual Midwest Geobiology conference. Many thanks to the folks at the University of Cincinnati for organizing the event.
Our lab group said goodbye last Friday to our postdoctoral fellow Cole Edwards, who has gone on to bigger and better things as an assistant professor of carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy at Appalachian State Univeristy in North Carolina. He first joined our group in August 2014 and researched Paleozoic environmental and biogeochemical changes. We wish Cole all the luck in his new position!
Joining us as a postdoctoral fellow from Harvard University is Maya Gomes. Maya focuses on how the cycling of elements through the ocean and atmosphere regulates climate and habitability. We welcome Maya and are eager to see what she will accomplish.
After eight years at Wash U, we wish Dwight ‘Mac’ McCay all the best as he moves on to a position as project scientist with TRC Solutions. Mac started working at Wash U in April 2008 with Bob Criss’ lab, and became manager of the Fike lab when it began in January 2009.
The illustrious job of lab manager is now being passed to former tech Stephanie Moore. We also wish her the best of luck in her new position!