Geomicrobiology / biogeochemistry of heavy metals

Microbial mercury methylation: Methylmercury in the environment is produced microbially, and bioaccumulates as a neurotoxin in terrestrial and marine food webs. We are investigating the microbiology and biogeochemistry underpinning environmental Hg methylation.

Depth profile of methyl-Hg / Total Hg (%) in Southern Ocean (113-121E longitude)

Microbial arsenic resistance and arsenic speciation in hot springs: If microbial life evolved in hot springs, it must have possessed some mechanism of resistance to toxic levels of arsenic (As). We study microbial arsenic resistance and arsenic geochemistry in hot springs, as analogs for the early Earth.

Former Ph.D student, Dr. Katrin Hug, sampling hot spring at Wai-o-tapu, New Zealand

Uranium interactions with sedimentary organic matter: the radioactive element uranium (U) can adsorb to, and undergo electron transfer reactions with, sedimentary organic matter. These processes may affect the form of U that is bioavailable to microorganisms for reduction and precipitation (immobilisation).

Nanoparticulate coffinite (U[IV]) replacement of microbial cells in lignite deposits
john.moreau (at)
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