An example of some ongoing research projects:
Archean – Paleoproterozoic
Investigating mechanisms of BIF generation and the associated drawdown of bio-essential metals and phosphate, to understand patterns of nutrient availability during early microbial evolution.
Constraining phosphorous cycling in ferruginous basins and potential controls on the environmental distribution of early eukaryotes.
Neoproterozoic – Palaeozoic
Tracking changes in oxygen availability on marine shelves to constrain the amount of habitable space during the rise of animal life.
Quantifying global fluxes in biogeochemical cycles in the modern ocean and terrestrial lakes and rivers.
We collect outcrop and core material, alongside detailed logs and geobiological data, and characterise it using petrography, as well as analytical techniques such as XRD and FTIR.
We apply a range of geochemical proxies to sediment samples, including isotopes (carbon, oxygen, sulfur, uranium, calcium and others) and trace metals (Fe speciation, REEs).
We recreate chemical sediments in the lab, synthesising minerals and quantifying their nucleation rates, solubility, and sorption properties using an anoxic glove box, solution analysis (spectrophotometry, ICP-MS and ICP-OES) and synchrotron techniques (XAS and nano-IR) .
We test geobiological hypotheses directly, by culturing algae in synthetic seawater and monitoring growth rates and metabolic health using a coulter counter, a plate reader, SEM and cell digests.