Thursday, December 3, 2015

Assistant Professor position in Sedimentary Geology - UNLV

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for an Assistant Professor in Sedimentary Geology, Search #16096. For this tenure track position, preferred research areas include, but are not limited to, sedimentary basin evolution with applications to tectonics or Earth-life-environment interactions across critical transitions in Earth history. We are particularly interested in individuals who integrate field investigations with innovative geochemical, geochronological, or other analytical techniques to pursue interdisciplinary research. The successful candidate is expected to establish a vigorous externally funded research program; teach effectively at both undergraduate and graduate levels including undergraduate field courses; and perform service duties at all levels.
This position requires a Ph.D. in Geology from a regionally accredited college or university by the start of the appointment. Application materials must include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, proposed research plans (five page limit), statement of teaching philosophy and interests, and contact information for four referees. Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience, with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications because this is the information on which the initial review of materials will be based.
Review of candidates' materials will begin on December 31, 2015 and best consideration will be gained for materials submitted prior to that date. Materials should be addressed to Dr. Ganqing Jiang (, Search Committee Chair, and are to be submitted via on-line application at

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Professor or Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Climate Geology - Switzerland

The Department of Earth Sciences ( at ETH Zurich invites applications for a climate geologist at the full, associate or assistant professor level. An assistant professorship promotes the careers of younger scientists. The initial appointment is for four years with the possibility of renewal for an additional three-year period and promotion to a permanent position.
The successful candidate is a leading scientist investigating climates of the geological past. He or she is expected to build a vigorous research program aimed at understanding climate and climate changes on timescales from millennia to geological epochs, using geological or geochemical approaches and modern analytical techniques. Ideally, the future professor would complement existing strengths in the geosciences and climate sciences at ETH Zurich. The teaching portfolio is expected to include undergraduate classes (German or English) in Earth system sciences, sedimentology, and participation in our field program; more advanced graduate classes (English) may cover aspects of Earth's climate, Earth history, and the use of proxies for inferences about past climates. 
Details regarding the application procedure and required documents can be found at

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Curator Position (2)- La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) seeks two Curators to lead the research programs and steer the public engagement of its renowned Late Pleistocene Rancho La Brea collections housed at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. The successful candidates will conduct collection-based research in evolutionary biology and paleoecology including systematics, biogeography, climate change, and biodiversity science.
The NHM, the largest natural history museum in the western United States, has recently finished a dramatic transformation including new ground-breaking exhibitions and a 3 ½ acre wildlife garden. It anticipates completing a similar transformation at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum during the next decade. The NHM’s mission is to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. Our strategic intent—“To be the best at communicating how our planet and life on it changes over time and why this matters”— guides our priorities over the next decade. The successful candidates will have a record of outstanding research as well as excellent communication skills, a talent for collaboration across disciplines, and an innate ability to engage and enthuse the public and stakeholders through their work.
More information here:

Lecturer in Palaeobiology- Cambridge, UK

The University of Cambridge invites applications from candidates carrying out creative and innovative research in the field of palaeobiology in the widest sense, including (but not necessarily limited to) palaeozoology, palaeobotany, micropalaeontology, evolutionary theory and/or biogeochemistry. They are particularly interested in candidates who show a talent for connecting disciplines, and have the imaginative flair to set future agendas.

Candidates should have an outstanding record of research in a relevant subject area and will be expected to develop a vigorous research programme at an international level. The person appointed will be expected to contribute to the Department's undergraduate teaching, possibly including areas beyond their immediate field of specialisation. All of our academic staff take part in undergraduate field teaching.The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to the research activities of the Department, to supervise research students and to actively seek external funds to support their research.

More information can be found here:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

2 Postdocs (nitrogen cycle and climate) - Cornell

Two funded postdoctoral positions are available focusing on understanding the exciting and quickly evolving area of interaction between the biogeochemistry of nitrogen cycle and climate.  The successful applicants will demonstrate experience with with models or large datasets, and have a record of publications in peer-reviewed literature.  He or she will work on collaborative, interdisciplinary modeling and model-data synthesis projects that are relevant for predicting human impacts on biogeochemistry and climate. The work will involve analyzing various aspects of the nitrogen cycle and its climate impacts with an emphasis on land processes including those that couple atmospheric and terrestrial nitrogen cycling. A wide range of possible research topics are possible including the impact of managed land on the nitrogen cycle, interactions between the nitrogen cycle and terrestrial carbon storage, and interactions with atmospheric constituents extending to pollution and climate change, as well as constraining the nitrogen cycle with measurements.  

These positions are open now and will be reviewed as they are received in Christine Goodale’s, Peter Hess’s and Natalie Mahowald’s research groups at Cornell University. The positions requires a PhD in a relevant area. The project involves researchers at multiple institutions with the possibility of travel for collaborations.   

Applicants should send an email directly to, and and include a CV and three references. Cornell University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Postdoc– Origin of Land Plants at the Natural History Museum, London

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (PDRA) – Origin of Land Plants: Genomes, Rocks, Biogeocycles
Natural History Museum Department of Life Science, London

Job Description:
Applications are invited for a two-year position as part of the NERC funded research project “Origin of Land Plants: Genomes, Rocks, and Biogeocycles”.  The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team of palaeontologists, plant scientists, phylogeonomicists, and biogeochemical modellers located at some of the world’s foremost centres for palaeo- and biodiversity research namely Natural History Museum, Earth Sciences at Bristol, Earth & Ocean Sciences at Cardiff, Animal & Plant Sciences at Sheffield, and HEE at University College London. The main objective of the project is to reconstruct the colonization of land by plants, and its impact on Earth Systems by reconstructing the phylogeny and divergence times of all extant land plant lineages and their Paleozoic fossil relatives.

The PDRA will be mainly responsible to carry out the phylogenomic analyses, the integration of the fossil taxa into a phylogeny reconstructed using both genomic and morphological evidence, and the establishment of a robust divergence time frame using newly developed methods that allow a more realistic integration of fossil evidence into DNA based divergence time estimations.

The PDRA is expected to collaborate with all researchers involved in the proposal but especially with Philip Donoghue (Bristol), Harald Schneider (NHM), and Ziheng Yang (UCL). THE PDRA is expected to take the lead on the publication of the research results of the component on phylogenomics and divergence time estimates beside the communication of the research to both expert and non-expert audiences.

Desired Skills and Experience: We are looking for a highly motivated early-career scientist with experience in assembling datasets for phylogenomic analyses, phylogenetic analyses using phylogenomic datasets, and divergence time estimates using bayesian analytical tools.  A background in statistics and bioinformatics will be appreciated, whereas documented expertise in oral and printed communication of research results is a requirement.

Starting data: January/February 2016.
Salary: following the NERC guidelines.

Contact: Prof Harald Schneider, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK. Email:

The position is open until filled. The interviews are expected to happen in early December 2015.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GBGM Lunch at GSA

Thanks to all of you who joined us at the GBGM Lunch at GSA and congratulations to our 2015 Division Award winners! Every year the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology division selects three exceptional researchers to receive pre-tenure, post-tenure, and distinguished career awards.  This year the awards go to Arpita Bose, Tim Lyons, and Elizabeth and Rudolf Raff. Their bios are here:

President Marc Laflamme and the Raffs

President Marc Laflamme and Tim Lyons

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Postdoctoral Fellow University of Toronto, Canada

Roger E. Deane Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Toronto, Department of Earth Sciences

The Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto invites applications for the Roger E. Deane Postdoctoral Fellowship, a highly competitive fellowship in any field of Earth Science. The department is interested in supporting innovative research and outstanding young geoscientists to work in collaboration with one or more faculty members. Applicants are encouraged to contact potential hosts in advance to discuss areas of common interest.  The Deane Postdoctoral Fellowship has an annual salary of CAD$50,000 and is awarded for a one-year period, with an anticipated extension for a second year. Anticipated start date is Sept. 2016, but earlier start dates are possible. 

Application: A complete application includes: a curriculum vitae, a research proposal (2 pages maximum excluding references), and the names & addresses of at least three references.  
Deadline: Applications are due January 15, 2016.    
Submit electronic PDF applications to:  Ampy Tolentino, (subject line: Deane Postdoctoral Fellowship)

Employment as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tenure-Track Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at the U of A - Edmonton, Canada

The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta invites applications for an endowed professorship in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. The endowment was established by the “River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Museum Society” (RDDDMS) and via various stakeholders with commitment to science, research and education.

This professorship is designed to recruit a new research leader to Alberta in Vertebrate Palaeontology. The research program, teaching commitments and service roles of the candidate will be conducted through the facilities of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum (PJCDM) in Wembley, Alberta, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and at various postsecondary institutions within Campus Alberta.

All correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Michael Caldwell
The effective date of employment will be July 1, 2016

To apply (and for more information) go here:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Part time Professor of Paleontology-College of William & Mary

The Geology Department at the College of William & Mary is seeking applicants for a part-time, one-semester, leave replacement position for the Spring semester of 2016.  The successful applicant will teach two undergraduate courses: one in introductory geology and the other a paleontology/paleobiology course.  The department has 8 full-time faculty, a laboratory coordinator, and graduates ~35 undergraduate majors per year.  We seek a colleague eager to interact with undergraduates in an environment where teaching and research are emphasized.  We prefer candidates who will have completed the PhD or are ABD in Geology or a closely related field at the time appointment begins.

More info here:  Submit a curriculum vitae, a cover letter, and a list of 3 references with contact information. Information on the Department of Geology can be found at Contact Professor Christopher Bailey at with questions regarding the position.  Review of materials will begin on October 19th, and continue until the position is filled.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Assistant Professor of Paleontology - SUNY Potsdam

The Geology Department at SUNY Potsdam is accepting on-line applications for a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor of Paleontology who applies their expertise to issues in paleoclimatology and/or paleoceanography. Teaching includes, but is not limited to, Principles of Paleontology, Historical Geology, an upper level elective, and a high-enrollment general education course focusing on either fossils/evolution or climate change. Ideal candidate could teach a physical oceanography course.

Requirement: Ph.D. in Geology or closely related field by August 15, 2016.
To apply, visit: Job Posting No. U-00081.
Candidate review begins November 23, 2015 and continues until positions are filled.
See more at:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Assistant Professor Position Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry- UMass Amherst

The Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts invites applications for a tenure track position in Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry at the Assistant Professor level starting Fall 2016.  We are seeking talented applicants qualified for an assistant professor position. Under exceptional circumstances, highly qualified candidates at other ranks may receive consideration.

The successful candidate will have research interests within the broad area covered by the position title.  These areas might include critical zone and near-surface weathering, processes that occur at solid-water interface, including biological interactions, or chemical, physical and biological processes controlling the transport of dissolved species. It is hoped that the candidate will have interests in isotope or trace element geochemistry and the application of geochemical tools to a broad range of scientific questions.

Applicants must submit a cover letter, CV, research statement, teaching statement, and contact information for three referees familiar with their research and teaching efforts.   For more information, visit the Department of Geosciences website ( or contact the Search Committee Chair (  Review of applicants will begin on November 16, 2015  and continue until the ideal candidate is identified.

Find more information here:

Faculty positions (Assistant Professor) in Earth and Planetary Science

The University of California, Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary Science invites applications for two positions at the Assistant Professor level with an expected start date of July 1, 2016. We seek outstanding candidates from any area of Earth and planetary science, with an emphasis on climate science, biogeochemical cycles, or Earth surface processes. Candidates whose research falls into one of these broad areas or their disciplinary interfaces are invited to apply.
Applicants are asked to provide their most recently updated curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, statement covering experience and goals in teaching and any experience or aspirations relevant to campus goals for diversity and inclusion, and the names and contact information for three to five referees. Letters of reference will only be solicited for those under serious consideration. A PhD or equivalent degree is required by the date of hire.

All applications should be submitted online through by December 4, 2015.

For questions please contact Crysthel Catambay, HR Analyst, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, email:

Find more information here: 

Post-Doctoral Researcher in Estuarine GHG Emissions - Southern Cross University (Australia)

The Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry is looking for a Post-doctoral Researcher to contribute to our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from estuaries project. The ARC funded position will be offered for 3 years, with the possibility of a further fixed term contract dependent upon performance and additional external funding being available.

This project will use an innovative combination of continuous underway concentration and stable isotope measurements, floating chamber flux measurements, benthic process measurements and advanced numerical modelling across a range of undisturbed to disturbed systems to resolve the factors controlling the emission of CO2, CH4 and N2O from estuaries. This project is designed to test three hypotheses: (1) there will be distinct differences in the production, and emission of GHG, across the gradient of estuarine disturbance; (2) that continuous underway measurement of stable isotopes and isotopomers will be able to distinguish the sources and production pathways of GHG; and (3) that the advanced numerical model, once calibrated against the continuous underway concentration and stable isotope measurements, water-air flux measurements, benthic process measurements and flow-weight loads, will be able to provide accurate predictions of estuarine GHG emissions.

Preferred starting- February 2016.
For further information contact- Prof. Bradley Eyre (

PhD student and Postdoc plant and soil biogeochemistry- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences- Umeå, Sweden

We are looking for a PhD student and a postdoc, for projects at the interface of plant and soil biogeochemistry, including development of new isotopomer methods for estimating biogeochemical fluxes on centennial timescales, a key unknown in Earth System Models. The successful candidates will work in a collaboration environment between soil sciences, tree physiology and biophysics.

Project and Tasks: The goal is to understand biogeochemical fluxes from the leaf level to soil organic matter. We will use experiments under controlled conditions, field sites and paleo archives to identify isotopomer signals of key ecosystem processes. Isotopomers describe the abundance of stable heavy isotopes in defined intramolecular groups of a metabolite, and have fundamental advantages as direct reporters of metabolic regulation.
Scientific Surroundings include the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU, and the KBC centre at Umeå University (, Umeå, Northern Sweden.

Position 1: PhD student position (4 years) with focus on tracing isotopomer signals from leaf level to paleo archives. Requirements: A master’s university degree in chemistry or a related field. Experience with NMR or stable isotopes is a merit.
Position 2: Postdoc (2-year stipend) with focus on plant- and tree-physiological experiments for identifying isotopomer signals. Requirements: PhD in plant physiology or a related field.

For further information and application procedure please contact:
Professor Jürgen Schleucher, jurgen.schleucher@chem.umu.use
Professor Mats Nilsson,

Project manager (postdoc) with EarthShape- University of Tübingen

Project Manager (postdoc) Position SPP EarthShape: Earth Surface Shaping by Biota.

The EarthShape priority program (DFG-SPP 1803; will explore how biologic processes form soil, influence topography, and thereby shape the Earth’s surface. Your task will be to assist the coordination of a consortium of 13 interdisciplinary projects comprising 17 new PhD students and 33 German and 19 Chilean investigators from the fields of Geology, Ecology, Soil Sciences, Geography, Microbiology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry. EarthShape research will be conducted at four study sites within in the Chilean Coastal Range that features one of Earth’s most spectacular vegetation gradients and is controlled by climate ranging from hyper-arid to humid temperate. It is a natural laboratory to study how biology and topography interact.

Aim: To assist the project coordinators and facilitate data collection, communication, and logistics between different research groups in both Germany and Chile.

Your tasks: You will work with Chilean and German participants to: install and maintain meteorological and river discharge and ecologic monitoring equipment in Chile; organize project meetings and student training workshops; coordinate project fieldwork, common data sets, and sampling permits; oversight of project data storage and web site; and organize public outreach. The primary work location is Tübingen, Germany and travel to Chile is required.  Your primary supervisors will be Prof. Todd Ehlers (Uni. Tuebingen) and Prof. Friedhelm von Blanckenburg (GFZ Potsdam).

The position is initially for 3 years with the possibility of being extended for an additional 3 years. Salary is commensurate with experience and at the TV-E13 (100%) level. The start date for the position is January, 2016.
Please submit your application to Todd Ehlers (

Tenure-Track Professor in Paleobiology, Geobiology, and Earth History

The Departments of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology (OEB) and Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS)—in partnership with the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ)—invite applications for two tenure-track faculty positions spanning the broadly defined fields of paleobiology, geobiology, and Earth history. They seek to attract two outstanding individuals to establish innovative research programs and teach both undergraduate and graduate students. We are especially interested in individuals whose work spans the intellectual interests of the OEB and EPS departments, including paleontology and/or the interactions between life, evolution, (bio)geochemistry, and the environment over geologic time, either on land or in the ocean. The positions may be associated with curatorial appointments in the MCZ with oversight responsibilities of the museum’s invertebrate paleontology collections.
Please submit applications online at:
Required materials include a cover letter, curriculum vita; a statement of research and teaching interests; four representative publications; and the names, institutional affiliations, and email addresses of three references. Review of applications will begin November 9, 2015, and conclude when the positions are filled.
Address questions about the position to Professor Ann Pearson ( or Professor James Hanken ( and about the application process to Chenoweth Moffatt (

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Open Rank Position in Geobiology - University of Southern California

The Departments of Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California) invite applications for an open-rank, tenured or tenure-track faculty position in geobiology anticipated to start Fall 2016. 

They are looking for an interdisciplinary scientist who will apply modern, quantitative and innovative techniques to solve major problems in any area of geobiology. Interests include but are not limited to candidates with expertise in geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, and/or organic geochemistry, who combine field-based studies with state-of-the-art analytical capabilities and laboratory experimentation. The successful candidate will be expected to develop a transformative research program, to provide leadership in USC’s strong geobiology program, and to contribute to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

The position can be filled at the Full Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor level. A Ph.D. or equivalent in the Geosciences, Microbiology, or related field is required. Applications must include a curriculum vitae, publication list, statement of teaching interests, and the names and contact information of at least four individuals who can provide letters of recommendation upon request. In addition, applicants should include in their cover letter a list of what they consider to be critical issues in geobiology today and a research statement that demonstrates how the candidate plans to address those issues. 

Find out more here: 
Review of complete applications will begin October 15, 2015. 
For further information, please contact the Chair of the search committee, Jan Amend at

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Open Rank Position in Geobiology - University of Colorado Boulder

The Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, invites applications for an open rank (tenured, or tenure-track) faculty position in the field of Geobiology. They seek a geoscientist who addresses the interaction and co-evolution of the Earth and biosphere at any time scale, including deep time.  In particular, a scientist who will develop and apply state-of-the-art geochemical tools to Geobiological problems, in combination with petrologic, sedimentological, fossil, molecular, biological, modeling, field and/or theoretical approaches.
This position is a central part of a current hiring initiative in Geobiology.  The successful candidate should significantly augment the Department’s geobiology program, and complement our strengths in geomicrobiology, organic and inorganic geochemistry, paleontology, planetary sciences, petrology, geophysics, geomorphology and/or paleoclimatology.  We are particularly interested in applicants who would establish an analytical facility that would enhance the Department’s growing array of geochemical and isotopic instrumentation, and engage in collaborations with our faculty.  The successful candidate will be expected to develop an innovative and impactful research program, and to vigorously contribute to Departmental teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

This position will be filled at the Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor level. A PhD in Earth sciences or a related field is required at the time of appointment, and post-doctoral or current faculty experience is preferred. 

Find out more here:
Applications are accepted electronically at https://www.jobsatcu.composting #F02480
Review of applications will begin on August 15, 2015, and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2015 Division Awards for outstanding research

Every year the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology division selects three exceptional researchers to receive pre-tenure, post-tenure, and distinguished career awards.  This year we had an exceptional list of nominees and we are pleased to announce that the 2015 awards go to Arpita BoseTim Lyons, and Elizabeth and Rudolf Raff. Please checkout their biographies below.

Pre-Tenure Award Recipient: Arpita Bose (Washington University in St. Louis)

I am Arpita Bose, an Assistant Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). My general interests are geomicrobiology, microbial physiology, microbial ecology and evolution, biogeochemical cycling, gene regulation, microbial metal respiration and Earth history.

During my graduate work and post-doctoral research, I used genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology to understand microbial metabolism. My Master’s research at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, dealt with understanding the physiological response of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to hypoxia. For my PhD research I studied methanogenesis performed by the poorly understood archaea, in the lab of Prof. William Metcalf at the University of Illinois at Urbana. During this period I took, and subsequently taught, the Microbial Diversity Summer course at the Marine Biological Laboratory. I taught the course again in 2014 before moving to St. Louis and highly recommend it to budding geomicrobiologists.

I was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research associate for a year in the lab of Prof. Dianne Newman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I studied photoferrotrophy performed by purple non sulfur bacteria. I thereafter moved to Prof. Peter Girguis' lab at Harvard University, where I used a combinatorial approach to study microbial metabolism at the environmental level. At Harvard my research was funded by the Life Sciences Research FoundationHoward Hughes Medical InstituteL'Oreal USA, AAAS, UNESCO and the US Department of Energy. My research focuses on understanding various microbial metabolisms. I intend to apply this basic understanding of microbial metabolism to engineer microbial systems for sustainable biochemical & bioenergy production as well as tackle issues such as bioremediation and biofouling. I also hope that my research would reveal basic geomicrobiological phenomena that shape our planet and possibly others.

Post-Tenure Award Recipient: Tim Lyons (University of California Riverside)

Timothy Lyons is a Distinguished Professor of Biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, where he has been on the faculty since 2005. Dr. Lyons’ primary research themes are astrobiology, marine geochemistry, geobiology, biogeochemical cycles through time, Earth history, and paleoclimatology. His career-long interests in anoxic marine environments, early atmospheric oxygenation, and co-evolving life have inspired the development and refinement of diverse geochemical tracers in modern settings for exploration of the ancient ocean and atmosphere and the search for life beyond Earth. He was a member of two previous research teams within the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and is leader of the new ‘Alternative Earths’ NAI team based at UC Riverside.

Dr. Lyons is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Geochemical Society/European Association of Geochemistry. He is also a 2015 recipient of a Contributions Award from the Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division of the Geological Society of America. He has been a visiting scholar at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research, the University of Queensland, the University of Tasmania (Comet Fellow), the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Hanse-Wissenschafts-Kolleg Fellow), Cambridge University (Leverhulme Visiting Professorship), the Institute of Geology and Geophysics–Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Rhodes University in South Africa (Hugh Kelly Fellow), and Yale University. He was the first Agassiz Lecturer at Harvard University and a recipient of the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Lyons has served on numerous steering and organizing committees, including service to the Goldschmidt Conference of the Geochemical Society, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, and panels within the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is chair of the Geochemistry Committee of the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society and works frequently with international funding agencies, including long-standing membership in the College of Reviewers of the Canada Research Chairs Program. Dr. Lyons was also a member of the U.S. National Research Council Committee on New Research Opportunities in the Earth Sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NROES, a 2012 decadal report).

Dr. Lyons has served in ten editorial positions, including a long-standing affiliation with Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, and on advisory boards with the American Geophysical Union and Cambridge University Press. He received a B.S. with honors in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, an M.S. in geology from the University of Arizona, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in geology/geochemistry from Yale University, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan.

Distinguished Career Award Recipient: Elizabeth and Rudolf Raff (Indiana University Bloomington)

Fossil embryos represent extraordinary preservation that needs biological as well as geological explanations. We are investigating the biology of the process of stabilization and preservation of soft tissues required for potential fossilization, using large marine embryos as a model (400 µm diameter embryos of the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma). We discovered that two key events are required. The first step is stabilization of the embryo by immediate post-death inhibition of autolysis, the process in which cell cytoplasm is degraded by release of intracellular lytic enzymes. The second step involves unexpected and remarkable microbiological processes. Although many bacteria destroy soft tissue, we have found that some bacteria can actually preserve soft tissue by generating a pseudomorph, a dense three-dimensional bacterial biofilm in which the bacteria consume but replace the tissue. Bacterial pseudomorphs are stable replicas of the embryos – like sculptures of the original embryo constructed from bacteria. We are investigating the mechanisms of blocking autolysis in taphonomically feasible environments, and the actions and ecology of diverse microbial players whose interactions lead to preservation or destruction of stabilized tissue. We are identifying and isolating bacterial species that are potential pseudomorphers of dead embryos from several different kinds of natural environments.

Autolysis-inhibited embryos that have been preserved by formation of bacterial pseudomorphs. Left, cross section of a pseudomorph of an 8 cell embryo, showing the packed bacterial biofilm that has replaced the tissue; right, external view of a pseudomorph of a 2 cell embryo, together with a view of the surface biofilm.

[Fig 4A-C from Raff, R. A. and Raff, E. C. The role of biology in the fossilization of embryos and other soft-bodied organisms: Microbial biofilms and Lagerstätten. 2014. In “Reading and Writing of the Fossil Record: Preservational Pathways to Exceptional Fossilization” (M. Laflamme, J. Schiffbauer, and S. Darroch, eds.), The Paleontological Society Papers V. 20, pp 83-100.]

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Special Edition on the Ediacaran

Check out the new Special Edition of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (Paleo3) edited by Lidya Tarhan and our own Marc Laflamme:

Ediacaran Environments and Ecosystems
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume 434, Pages 1-62 (15 September 2015)

  1. An examination of the evolution of Ediacaran paleoenvironmental and paleoecological research. L. Tarhan and M. Laflamme
  2. Depositional and preservational environments of the Ediacara Member, Rawnsley Quartzite (South Australia): Assessment of paleoenvironmental proxies and the timing of ‘ferruginization'. L.G. Tarhan, M.L. Droser and J.G. Gehling
  3. Role of low intensity environmental disturbance in structuring the earliest (Ediacaran) macrobenthic tiered communities. P.R. Wilby, C.G. Kenchington and R.L. Wilby
  4. Dickinsonia liftoff: Evidence of current derived morphologies. S.D. Evans, M.L. Droser and J.G. Gehling
  5. The discs of Avalon: Relating discoid fossils to frondose organisms in the Ediacaran of Newfoundland, Canada. G. Burzynski and G.M. Narbonne
  6. Fossil preservation through phosphatization and silicification in the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation (South China): a comparative synthesis. A.D. Muscente, A.D. Hawkins and S. Xiao

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In Memoriam: Martin Brasier

Sadly another obituary to post. In December (2014) Martin Brasier, Professor at the University of Oxford was killed in a car accident. Martin studied all periods of Earth history, but is probably best known for his work on early life and the evolution of eukaryotes and animals, specifically during the Cambrian and Precambrian.

The announcement from his department can be found here:,_rip

The announcement in Nature is here:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Help us have more Geobiology at GSA!

Hi Everyone,

Help up have more geobiology at the 2015 GSA meeting! We are looking for geobiologists of all varieties to submit proposals for Topical Sessions, Pardee Keynote Symposia (due: February 1st), or a Short Course (due: February 2nd).

For more information go here!