Monday, June 13, 2022

2022 Division Awards for Outstanding Geobiologists

Every year the GBGM executive committee selects exceptional scholars to receive awards for their accomplishments in research, education/mentoring, and service in geobiology. This year we had an exceptional list of nominees so thanks to all those who nominated someone!

We are pleased to announce that the 2022 awards go to Lidya Tarhan (pre-tenure), Cara Santelli (post-tenure), and John Valley (distinguished career). Please check out their brief biographies below and explore their websites for further details about their research.

Pre-Tenure Award Recipient: Lidya Tarhan (Yale University)

Dr. Lidya Tarhan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Yale University and an Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Yale Peabody Museum. Her research focuses on using the sedimentary record to reconstruct the co-evolution of ancient life and environments during critical intervals of Earth’s history. She also investigates the processes responsible for fossilization and how preservational biases modify stratigraphic and geobiological archives. She combines field-based paleontological and sedimentological investigations with a geochemical, petrographic and modeling toolkit. Her recent work has centered on reconstructing the emergence of early animals as ecosystem engineers. In addition to her geologic investigations, she also studies the environmental factors shaping animal-sediment interactions in modern marine settings.

Post-Tenure Award Recipient: Cara Santelli (University of Minnesota) 

Dr. Cara Santelli is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the BioTechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota.  Cara is a geomicrobiologist who examines the impact of microbial activity on wide-ranging geological and environmental processes.  In addition to answering key questions on the mechanisms, metabolic pathways, and geochemical impact of mineral-metal-microbe interactions, her research seeks to inform and improve strategies for remediating pollutants to improve the health of water and soil environments. Her work also seeks to advance environmental justice through community based participatory research that prioritizes and addresses the voices of communities.

Distinguished Career Award Recipient: John Valley (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

John Valley is the Emeritus Van Hise Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has taught for 36 years. Valley is interested by all kinds of rocks (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary) of all ages (Hadean to Recent). He has worked to improve microanalysis techniques of stable isotope ratios by laser and ion beam, and founded the WiscSIMS Lab at UW-Madison. His current projects investigate zircons and their inclusions to understand evolution of the crust and growth of continents. He has collaborated in geobiology research employing in situ analysis of O and C isotopes to evaluate vital effects vs. diagenesis, examine seasonality and paleoclimatology, determine migration history and paleodiet, and test biogenicity. This has included samples ranging from modern foraminifera, mollusks, otoliths, and  teeth to Earth’s oldest microfossils. Its been a lot of fun.

Please join us in congratulating these exceptional scientists at the 2022 GSA Connect Meeting in Denver; the awardees will be giving invited talks in our "New Voices in Geobiology" and "New Advances in Geobiology" sessions! Awards will be presented at the Geobiology Division Award Presentation (a.k.a. the GBGM Lunch).

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Nominate your colleagues for the 2022 GSA GBGM Awards!

Dear Geo(micro)biologists,


Every year the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology division selects three exceptional researchers to receive pre-tenure, post-tenure, and distinguished career awards (or equivalent career stage in a non-tenure track position). For details on past awards, see the GBGM website. Since 2018, the division leadership has solicited nominations from our members in order to create a more diverse and inclusive nominee pool, both in terms of academic fields and demographics. We also hope this process allows our members to feel more involved and empowered to nominate the people who have made a difference to them or their (sub)field.


Please use the nomination form to identify exceptional researchers who you think should be recognized, along with justification (max. 500 words). Final nominees will be selected by the GBGM division representation committee from amongst this pool, and awarded based the nominee’s complete portfolio (i.e., research, mentoring, service, and leadership). Please note that you must confirm that the person you are nominating has not breached GSA's Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct nor is under investigation for any action that would be a breach of GSA's Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct.


We're grateful for your participation in this process - we know that your time is valuable, but this is one of the most important things the division does, and we think the community should nominate our awardees. Please submit your nominations to Vicky by Sunday, March 20th.


We look forward to being overwhelmed with nominations!


Vicky, Trinity, David, Emmy, Lydia, Brandt, Rowan, Alison, and Zoe (a.k.a. your Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division Representatives)

Friday, October 22, 2021

Winners of the 2021 GSA GBGM Division Student Presentation Awards

It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the GSA 2021 student presentation awards. We were all so impressed with the quality of presentations by our student members! Picking winners this year was not an easy job.

We would also like to express our deepest gratitude to our members who judged this year's competition. Without your feedback and support, this endeavor would not be possible. 

To all of our students, congratulations on presenting at GSA this year. All of the excellent entries from you all truly made choosing winners difficult, but here are the students who will receive awards and honorable mentions this year:

Best oral presentation winners:
Karen Pham: "Impacts of Miocene climate change on palm trait evolution in Madagascar and mainland Africa"
Katherine Turk: "Priapulid trace fossils from the late Ediacaran of Namibia"

Best poster presentation winners:
Martin Fernandez: "Preliminary investigations into ecology and functional morphology of the annulated orthoconic cephalopod Spyroceras"
Hannah Hogan: "Provenance of volcanogenic sediments in Wuchiapingian and earliest Changhsingian strata at Penglaitan"
Andrei Olaru: "Functional morphology of the Ediacaran organism Tribrachidiium heraldicum revealed by computational fluid dynamics"

Honorable mentions:
Andres Marquez (poster presentation): "Comparing the hypoxia tolerance and temperature sensitivities of Paleozoic and Modern marine fauna"
Jack Shaw (oral presentation): "Reassessing Burgess Shale trophic structure"

As with previous years, we will be handing out prizes to our award winners at GBGM awards luncheon next year at GSA 2022.

We'd like to thank all of the students who contacted us and put their names forward for consideration. It was a real privilege to see and hear about the work you've been doing, and we encourage you to enter again next year. Recognizing the excellent work of our members is the most important aspect of the GBGM division, so please stay in touch. It is wonderful to see the faces of the student population of GSA GBGM and there is a bright future ahead for this group!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The University of Southern California Department of Earth Sciences invites applications for a position in Geobiology at the level of Associate or Full professor

 At USC, Geobiology is interpreted broadly, including geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry, carbon cycles and proxies, ocean acidification, astrobiology, source to sink processes, earth-atmosphere-biosphere co-evolution, global change, carbon sequestration, paleoenvironments/paleoclimate, paleobiology and other areas that relate to these topics.

The successful candidate will be expected to build active collaborations within and outside the university, to develop internationally recognized and externally funded research programs, and to teach graduate and undergraduate level courses.  This position is supported by significant lab space, research infrastructure, and resources commensurate with the hiring level.

Located in central Los Angeles, USC serves a transnational student body and provides unique opportunities to engage in research, teaching, and service within an urban sphere, as well as easy access to the broader Southern California environment. The position offers opportunities to interact with the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island.

Candidates should submit a full CV, research and teaching statements (1-2 pages each), names and email addresses of 3-5 individuals who could provide letters of recommendation, a statement on how you would foster diversity at USC, and a brief description of possible opportunities for interaction with the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, if applicable.

To be considered for this position, applicants are required to submit an electronic application at Application review will begin on Nov. 1, 2021 and continue until the search is completed. Letters may be requested of referees prior to this date. Send inquiries to the Department Chair, Frank Corsetti (

USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

GBGM GSA 2021 Student Presentation Awards!

Attention all student members of GBGM!

GSA 2021 in Portland is coming up soon, and we are excited to announce another year of GSA GBGM student awards for outstanding student oral and poster presentations. This is a great opportunity to get to know professionals in your field and show off the fantastic work you’re all doing.

If you are a student presenting research at GSA 2021 this year, either in person or virtually, and you would like to be considered for one of the GSA GBGM student awards, please fill out the following Google Form before September 10, 2021:

Your GSA GBGM student representatives will assemble a team of impartial judges to view your presentations and collect their feedback, and we will announce the winners via email shortly after GSA ends. This year’s winners will be recognized during next year’s GSA meeting during our GBGM Division Award Presentation Event & Business Meeting.

We look forward to hearing from everyone and seeing your presentations this year! If you have any questions, feel free to email Zoë Havlena ( or Alison Cribb (

Monday, July 26, 2021

2021 Division Awards for outstanding geobiologists

Every year the GBGM executive committee selects exceptional scholars to receive awards for their accomplishments in research, education/mentoring, and service in geobiology. This year we had an exceptional list of nominees so thanks to all those who nominated someone!

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 awards go to Kim Lau (pre-tenure), Phoebe Cohen (post-tenure), and Frank Corsetti (distinguished career). Please check out their brief biographies below and explore their websites for further details about their research.

Pre-Tenure Award Recipient: Kimberly Lau (Pennsylvania State University)

Dr. Kim Lau is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on reconstructing biogeochemical changes in Earth’s past and specifically the causes and consequences of redox changes in ancient oceans using a combination of lab, modeling, and field methods. She is interested in major perturbations throughout Earth history and how these events are recorded geochemically in the sedimentary record. Her approach includes better understanding the sedimentary geochemical and isotopic proxies that geobiologists can employ to constrain past environmental change.

Post-Tenure Award Recipient: Phoebe Cohen (Williams College)

Dr. Phoebe Cohen is an Associate Professor in Geosciences at Williams College. Phoebe is a paleontologist who uses a wide array of microscopic, microchemical, and geochemical techniques, in combination with field-based stratigraphy and sedimentology, to reconstruct ancient organisms and ecosystems. Her current work focuses on the evolution of eukaryotes in the Proterozoic and the microfossil record of the end-Devonian mass extinction. She is also actively involved in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work in the geosciences. 

Distinguished Career Award Recipient: Frank A. Corsetti (University of Southern California)

Dr. Frank Corsetti is a Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California.  He studies the co-evolution of the Earth and its biosphere from a geobiologic/sedimentologic perspective, searching for traces of life in deep (and not so deep) time.  Key topics of study include the identification of biosignatures (in particular, those left behind by microbes), unraveling the diagenetic alteration of biosignatures, mass extinctions, the environmental setting for the emergence of animals, and the search for life beyond Earth.  Frank co-directed the International Geobiology Summer Course from 2010-2016.  He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, recipient of the SEPM Dickinson Medal, the 2019 James B. Thompson Distinguished International Lecturer, and a recipient of the Mellon Mentorship award for mentoring graduate students.

Please join us in congratulating these exceptional scientists at the 2021 GSA (hopefully) in Portland; the awardees will be giving invited talks in our "New Voices in Geobiology" and "New Advances in Geobiology" sessions! The Geobiology Division Award Presentation (a.k.a. the GBGM Lunch) will be held virtually since this year's meeting will be offered in a hybrid format with limited in-person attendance.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Microbes now in our Redbubble Shop!

Hi geobiologists, need more microbes in your life? You can now buy microbial swag from our Redbubble store (