Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays

Happiest of Holidays from the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division!
We hope 2017 is a happy and healthy year for you and yours!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Environmental Geochemistry position-Queen's University

The Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering and the School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University jointly invite applications for a Queen’s National Scholar (QNS) position at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor with specialization in Environmental Geochemistry. This is a tenured or tenure-track position held jointly in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering and the School of Environmental Studies with a preferred starting date of July 1, 2017.

Please follow the link for further information:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

GSA GBGM student presentation award winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the second annual GSA GBGM student presentation awards. We were all truly blown away by both the quality and sheer diversity of research conducted by our student members. It was an extraordinary experience for many of us, scurrying between back-to-back talks on topics as disparate as biogeochemical cycling, mass extinctions, using goats to manage invasive plants, soft tissue preservation in the fossil record, the early evolution of complex life.From amongst all of these, we've identified some outstanding research that we thought we should recognize with student presentation awards. This was not an easy decision and a very competitive field of great talks and posters. Because there were so many excellent presentations (and only 4 awards to give out), we've also highlighted some honorable mentions. Without further ado:

Oral presentations


Amanda Godbold: 'The refugia concept following the End-Permian mass extinction'Ross Anderson: 'Sediment composition of Burgess Shale type Lagerstätten: Implications for soft-tissue preservation'

Honorable mentions:

Amanda Garcia: 'Reconstructed ancestral enzymes suggest that Earth's photic-zone temperature markedly decreased over geologic time'Joshua Zimmt: 'Revisiting growth increment counting as a method for biologically aging Crassostrea virginica from the U.S. Mid-Atlantic'

Poster presentations


Natalia Bykova: 'Ediacaran macroalgae and the early evolution of animals'Dylan Wilmeth: 'Methanotrophy in 2.7 Ga South African Lakes'

Honorable mentions:

Amanda Facciol: 'A novel experimental instrument for the study of tissue decay and exceptional preservation'Elizabeth Clark: 'Soft tissue preservation in Paleozoic Ophiuroids: novel insights through 3D imaging'

As per last year, we'll be handing out prizes at the GBGM awards luncheon next year, shortly after we announce our faculty awards. 
We'd like to thank all of the students who contacted us and put their names forward for was a real privilege to see and hear about the work you've all 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. It is wonderful to see the diversity of the student population of GSA GBGM and there is a bright future ahead for this group.

Monday, December 12, 2016

GBGM Executive Committee Election Results

Election results are in and congratulations are in order for our new board members for 2016-2018!

Chair: Simon Darroch

Simon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt University, having completed his PhD at Yale in 2015, and a brief stint as a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Simon is a geobiologist with a background in field geology, biology, and ecology, and has also been involved in industry with Royal Dutch Shell. His research has two principal directions – Ediacaran paleobiology and the Cambrian explosion of animals (including taphonomy, biogeography, and ecology), and the paleoecology of mass extinction events, with an emphasis on how patterns from the fossil record can be used to build predictive models for the future.

Vice Chair: Rowan Martindale

Rowan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the JacksonSchool of Geosciences. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences (general degree in biology) at Queen’s University (Canada) in 2007.  In 2012 Rowan completed her Ph.D. with the Bottjer Lab at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, USA). Rowan joined the Jackson School in 2014 after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University with the Knoll research group studying the Toarcian Ocean Anoxic Event and Paleoproterozoic carbonates. Her research involves both field and lab work, from large scale mapping to thin section analysis of microfossils. Recent research is primarily focused on reef paleoecology, exceptional fossilization of marine communities, and the geobiology of carbon cycle perturbation events (e.g. ocean acidification in deep time). In the last two years (while Secretary of the GBGM division) she set up the division website ( and facilitated the expansion of the division into social media (Facebook and Twitter).

Treasurer: Victoria Petryshyn

Vicky received her Ph.D. 2012, University of Southern California. After that, she spent two years as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, working on applications of the carbonate “clumped isotope” paleothermometer in microbialite-forming environments.  Following that, she spent a year as a post-doc at the European Institute of Marine Studies in Brest, France learning how to interpret rare earth elements in stromatolites.  This fall, Vicky accepted a faculty position in the Environmental Studies program back atUSC. Her main focus has been the development of stromatolites and other terrestrial carbonates as high-resolution paleoclimate archives, both in the modern and in deep time, though she is also greatly interested at reconstructing physiochemical conditions during key earth-life transitions. For the past seven years, she has been an instructor on the Agouron International Geobiology Course, an intensive 5-week training course for graduate students that explores the co-evolution of Earth and the biosphere.  Vicky has served as GBGM’s treasurer for the last two years, during which, we can all agree, the food has been spectacular

Secretary: Lydia Tackett

Lydia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at North DakotaState University. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology at Temple University (Philadelphia, USA) in 2007. In 2014 Lydia completed her Ph.D. with the David Bottjer at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, USA). Lydia joined the Geosciences faculty at NDSU later in 2014. Her research spans much of the Mesozoic, but in particular the suite of environmental and biological events of the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. Lydia’s ongoing research focuses on identifying marine paleoecological changes of the Late Triassic, and has active field sites in Nevada, Italy, and New Zealand. Her research also incorporates strontium isotope geochemistry to correlate global biostratigraphic series and major ecological transitions. More recently, her research group is investigating the potential life-modes of enigmatic worms from the latest Ediacaran and the effect of these activities on critical layer geochemistry.

Student Representative: Selva Marroquín

Selva is a first year PhD Student in the Gill Lab at Virginia Tech. She received her Masters degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2016 and previously received her BS in Geological Sciences from Tufts University in 2014. Her MSc research focused on coleoids (vampire squid) from an Early Jurassic Lagerstätte from Alberta that contains the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE). Her PhD research focuses on sedimentary geochemistry and utilizes various isotope proxies to expand the record of the T-OAE into the Southern Hemisphere (Argentina, Peru, and New Zealand). She also plans to use geochemistry to investigate the environmental conditions facilitating exceptional fossil preservation associated with this event.

Student Representative: Anna Weiss

Anna is a third year PhD candidate in the Martindale lab at UT Austin. Anna received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Geology from Stony Brook University in 2013. Her research interests are broad and include the consequences of climate change for biotic communities, the evolution of keystone species, and the use of databases, statistical analyses, and models in paleoecology. At UT, she focuses on the impacts of temperature, nutrients, and other environmental stressors on corals during a carbon-cycle perturbation event approximately 56 million years ago (the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum).