Caue Sciascia BorlinaGraduate Student
I am interested in the formation of the solar system, and the evolution of life. In the lab, I try to elucidate such questions by replicating what could have happened in the early Earth, mainly looking at different environments before the rise in oxygen in the atmosphere (or the Great Oxygenation Event) around 2.3 billion years ago, and observing how bacteria respond to them. This is fundamental in order to understand how life and the early Earth evolved to be what we currently see.
Emily MatysPhD Student in Geobiology
Through organic geochemical and micropaleontological analysis, I study the information preserved in sedimentary archives. As part of the Bosak lab, I continue to characterize body fossils from the Neoproterozoic interglacial period to better understand early eukaryotic radiation and possible connections with the dramatic environmental change associated with the Sturtian low-latitude glaciation.
Kelsey MooreGraduate Student Contact: krmoore[at]mit.edu
I am interested in early life on Earth and the evolution of microorganisms and their environments. My current research centers around Cryogenian microfossils found in post-Sturtian cap carbonates. Through microscopic and chemical analyses, I hope to gain insight into what these fossils represent and what they can tell us about ecology in the Cryogenian non-glacial interlude. I am also interested in early evolution of cyanobacteria on Earth and the reconstruction of phylogenetic trees and molecular clocks for this complex group of bacteria.
Sharon NewmanPhD Student in Geobiology Contact: sharon.newman[at]mit.edu
My current research focuses on microbe-mineral interactions. I employ a variety of microscopy techniques and chemical analyses to investigate the formation of minerals around microbial filaments. My goals are to explore the mechanisms of fossilization and to determine what depositional environments are most conducive to fossilization.
My research interests span a range of topics including the geochemical processes that govern the Earth system as well as the origin and evolution of life. I am currently focusing on probing the formation condition of methane by analyzing methane “clumped isotope” (13CH3D) composition. In particular, I am interested in understanding how the effects of biological and non-biological processes manifest in the geochemical signatures.
I am interested in the co-evolution of life and environment, especially the paleoenvironment, mass extinctions, and the effects of microbes in sediments. Currently, half of my work is to interpret the dynamics of some geological and geochemical records, such as the rise oxygen concentration and the fluctuations of carbon isotopes from the perspective of nonlinear dynamics, while the other half (in the Bosak lab) is to explore the mechanism of the rapid switch of methanogenic archaea from the methanogenesis to iron-oxides reduction in a closely natural environment.