Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Geobiology publications

Two excellent new publications shedding light on the complex processes involved in soft-tissue preservation:

A unifying model for Neoproterozoic–Palaeozoic exceptional fossil preservation through pyritization and carbonaceous compression
by James D. Schiffbauer, Shuhai Xiao, Yaoping Cai, Adam F. Wallace, Hong Hua, Jerry Hunter, Huifang Xu, Yongbo Peng & Alan J. Kaufman


Microbial ecology and biofilms in the taphonomy of soft tissues
by Rudolf A. Raff, Mary E. Andrews, Ronald L. Pearson, F. Rudolf Turner, Sebastian T. Saur, Daniel C. Thomas, Justin L. Eagan, and Elizabeth C. Raff

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Post Doctoral Position in Paleobiology/Paleoclimatology University of Connecticut

The Center for Integrative Geosciences at the University of Connecticut invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher in the area of paleobiology, paleoclimatology and/or earth-system modeling.  Information about the Center and University can be found at
Qualifications:  Candidates must have PhD in the geosciences, biosciences or related field, focusing in the area of paleobiology, paleoclimatology and/or earth-system modeling before the start date.  A successful candidate should have the ability to produce high quality research in a fast paced environment.  Expertise in the arthropod group Ostracoda, lake and/or carbonate environments and/or quantitative modeling are preferred.  Ability or experience in grant writing is also preferred.  
To Apply: Applicants are asked to upload the following to Husky Hire ( cover letter, CV, research statement and contact information for at least 3 references (job posting iwill be removed on December 19).  Review of applications will begin December 22, 2014 and continue until an acceptable candidate is found.  Anticipated start date is at completion of search, but could be as late as June, 2015.  Applications and questions should be directed to Dr. Lisa Park Boush (  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Geobiology Publication

Check out this new publication in Geobiology by W.-H. He, G. R. Shi, R. J. Twitchett, Y. Zhang, K.-X. Zhang, H.-J. Song, M.-L. Yue, S.-B. Wu, H.-T. Wu, T.-L. Yang, Y.-F. Xiao:

Late Permian marine ecosystem collapse began in deeper waters: evidence from brachiopod diversity and body size changes


Analysis of Permian–Triassic brachiopod diversity and body size changes from different water depths spanning the continental shelf to basinal facies in South China provides insights into the process of environmental deterioration. Comparison of the temporal changes of brachiopod diversity between deepwater and shallow-water facies demonstrates that deepwater brachiopods disappeared earlier than shallow-water brachiopods. This indicates that high environmental stress commenced first in deepwater settings and later extended to shallow waters. This environmental stress is attributed to major volcanic eruptions, which first led to formation of a stratified ocean and a chemocline in the outer shelf and deeper water environments, causing the disappearance of deep marine benthos including brachiopods. The chemocline then rapidly migrated upward and extended to shallow waters, causing widespread mass extinction of shallow marine benthos. We predict that the spatial and temporal patterns of earlier onset of disappearance/extinction and ecological crisis in deeper water ecosystems will be recorded during other episodes of rapid global warming.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GeoBiology 2015 Summer workshop

Another grad student-oriented workshop sponsored by Agouron, NSF, Colorado School of Mines, California State University Fullerton, and the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations. Run by the USC Wrigley Institute.

The course website is here.
The Course Flier is available here.
The course application is available here.

Now entering it’s 12th year, the International GeoBiology Course is an intense, multidisciplinary summer course exploring the coevolution of the Earth and it's biosphere, with an emphasis on how microbial processes affect the environment and leave imprints on the rock record. Participants get hands-on experience in cutting-edge geobiological techniques including molecular biology, bioinformatics, geochemistry, petrology and sedimentology, and work in research groups to solve relevant questions.

Taphonomy, Ecological Processes (and Geobiology!) Summer Course in San Salvador, Summer 2015

This forwarded from Michal Kowalewski - an excellent opportunity for graduate/postdocs to study sedimentology and geosphere/biosphere interactions. San Savador is also one of the few places students can study living stromatolites:

First Announcement
Taphonomic and Ecological Processes in Tropical Environments
Summer Field Course in Graduate Research
Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas
July 6 – August 7, 2015

Michal Kowalewski, University of Florida (
Thomas Rothfus, Gerace Research Centre (
Dena Smith, University of Colorado, Boulder (

Overview: The 5-week course will focus on graduate-level research in taphonomy and ecology of late Quaternary to Recent environments of the San Salvador Island (Bahamas), including both marine and terrestrial settings. Each student participant will lead an independent project based on field, experimental, or laboratory data. The instructors will assist students, both logistically and intellectually, in developing projects that can generate publishable quality data.San Salvador field sites and laboratory facilities offer opportunities for conducting topically diverse projects from experimental ecology and taphonomy to Quaternary paleoecology and biosedimentary processes.

Where: Gerace Research Centre, located on San Salvador Island, one of the outermost of a chain of some 700 islands that comprise The Bahamas

Who: Students interested in taphonomy, paleoecology, marine ecology, carbonate deposystems, reef paleoecology, coastal environments (both marine and terrestrial), and Quaternary paleoenvironments are particularly encouraged to apply. The course is aimed at graduate students who aspire to develop strong research portfolios. Advanced undergraduate students interested in research-oriented careers are also encouraged to apply. Students from all countries are eligible for admission.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tenure Track Job - Geobiology & Sedimentary Geology (University of Washington)

The Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington invites applications for a tenure-track position in geobiology and sedimentary geology. Preferred research areas include, but are not limited to, biogeochemistry, paleontology and/or sedimentary geology, focusing on the use of pre-Quaternary stratigraphic records as a basis for investigation of the reciprocal interactions between the Earth (lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere), life and environments through time. We are particularly interested in individuals who pursue interdisciplinary research, can contribute to the study of sedimentary rocks, use innovative geochemical, biological and/or computing techniques in their research and who can utilize these in their teaching. A proven ability to incorporate fieldwork into teaching and research will be advantageous.

Find out more here:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Full Professorship - Chair of Evolutionary Biology (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany)

The Faculty of Biology invites applications for a Full Professorship (W3) of Evolutionary Biology (Chair) commencing on October 01, 2015.

The successful applicant is expected to carry out internationally recognized research that uses state-of-the-art approaches and techniques (e.g. genomics/transcriptomics) to study evolutionary processes, such as speciation, evolutionary adaptation, or ecological interactions, at the population level. The research program should allow close collaborations with established research groups in the LMU Faculty of Biology and the HighTech-Campus Grosshadern-Martinsried. The LMU Faculty of Biology provides a scientifically strong environment and excellent facilities for experiments. The professor is expected to contribute to the teaching of existing courses, as well as develop new modules in evolutionary biology for our bachelor and master programs. Prerequisites for this position are a university and a doctoral degree, teaching skills at university level, excellent academic achievements and a productive and promising research program. LMU Munich makes a point of providing newly appointed professors with various types of support, such as welcoming services and assistance for dual career couples.

UT Austin Postdoctoral Opportunities

The Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for its 2015-2016 school-wide Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellows Program. This highly competitive institutional award is open to recent doctorates (degree within the past 3 years) in geosciences. We welcome applicants with research interests across the full range of geosciences disciplines. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to pursue their own independent research interests. The appointment is for 2 years with a salary of $60,000 per year plus health and dental benefits. Research support of $10,000 per year is also provided. Successful applicants can begin their program as early as September 1, 2015, but no later than December 31, 2015.

Deadline for applications is December 1, 2014. Find out more here:

Friday, October 31, 2014

New Geobiology Publication

Check out this new publication in Nature Geosciences by Mariotti, G., Pruss, S. B., Perron, J. T., & Bosak, T.

Microbial shaping of sedimentary wrinkle structures

Abstract: Wrinkle structures on sandy bed surfaces were present in some of the earliest sedimentary environments, but are rare in modern environments. These enigmatic millimetre- to centimetre-scale ridges or pits are particularly common in sediments that harbour trace fossils and imprints of early animals, and appeared in the aftermath of some large mass extinctions. Wrinkle structures have been interpreted as possible remnants of microbial mats, but the formation mechanism and associated palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological implications of these structures remain debated. Here we show that microbial aggregates can form wrinkle structures on a bed of bare sand in wave tank experiments. Waves with a small orbital amplitude at the bed surface do not move sand grains directly. However, they move millimetre-size, light microbial fragments and thereby produce linear sand ridges and rounded scour pits at the wavelengths observed in nature within hours. We conclude that wrinkle structures are morphological biosignatures that form at the sediment–water interface in wave-dominated environments, and not beneath microbial mats as previously thought. During early animal evolution, grazing by eukaryotic organisms may have temporarily increased the abundance of microbial fragments and thus the production of wrinkle structures.

Tenure Track Job - Geobiology (Dartmouth College)

The Department of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College invites applications for a junior rank tenure-track position in the general areas of biogeochemistry and geobiology. We especially welcome applications from candidates with research interests that include microbially-mediated biogeochemical interactions in processes of mineralization, weathering, and sequestration of contaminants; hydrocarbon formation and degradation; biogeochemical cycling in fluvial and/or cold environments, including river-channel, floodplain, and lacustrine ecosystem response to environmental change. 

Find out more here:

Tenure Track Job - Paleontology (University of Michigan)

The Museum of Paleontology and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the
University of Michigan are searching for a tenure-track faculty candidate in the field of
Paleontology. This is a university year appointment with an expected start date of September 1,

Find out more here:

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Hi Everyone! We are working on a new Website/Blog for the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology division. Come to this site for news about the division, recent papers, member profiles, job listings (Postdoc and Tenure track), and student opportunities! In case you aren't familiar with us, here's our purpose statement:

The purpose of the Division is to bring together scientists working at the interface of biology and geology; to encompass the integration of these disciplines through time and across space; to simultaneously promote both the broad scope and detailed disciplinary work demanded of rigorous interdisciplinary research; to nurture this emerging spectrum of fields by active encouragement and mentoring of students; and to advise and assist the officers and committees of GSA in matters related to geobiology and geomicrobiology. Fields currently within this Division include: biogeochemistry, biomineralogy, geochemical ecology, paleontology, micropaleontology, origins of life and co-evolution of planets and life, paleobiology and paleoecology, molecular paleontology and ecology, systems modeling and informatics, and astrobiology.