1st Rocky Mountain Geobiology Symposium

The first Rocky Mountain Geobiology Symposium (RMGS) took place at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO with participants from all over the Rocky Mountain states and beyond enjoying a fantastic day of science, new connections, sunny Colorado spring weather and a memorable end-of-day at Golden’s New Terrain Brewing. Big thanks to John Spear, Emily Kraus, Blake Stamps and everyone at Mines for all the hard work fundraising and organizing an amazing day to kick off the RMGS tradition.


Shaelyn's thesis defense

Shaelyn Silverman successfully defended her senior thesis on the Morphological and Isotopic Changes of Anabaena cylindrica PCC 7122 in Response to N2 Partial Pressure. After a year of hard work first with Sanjoy Som at NASA Ames over the summer after her junior year, followed by research in the Geomicrobial Physiology Lab at CU Boulder during her senior year, Shae presented a fantastic written thesis and presentation and received the much deserved highest honors recommendation. Congratulations to Shaelyn for an outstanding senior thesis!


First lab visitor: Matt Salie

The lab welcomes its first visitor. Matt Salie from the Williamson Lab at the Scripps Research Institute is visiting us this week to gain experience with continuous culturing techniques and gather preliminary data for his postdoctoral work on proteome dynamics. Welcome Matt!


Welcome Jody

Jody Donnelly starts today as the joint lab manager for the Geomicrobial Physiology and Evolution labs. Jody comes to us with a fantastic skillset from her work at Luca Technologies, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and will be instrumental in getting the new geomicrobiology labs up and running as quickly as possible. Welcome to the team!


Welcome Elise, Kelsey and Nabil

The lab is expanding and we’re excited to welcome Elise Cowley, Kelsey Dahlgren and Nabil Chaudhry. Elise and Kelsey are both graduate students in the IQBio program at CU Boulder and officially start their lab rotation in the Geomicrobial Physiolgy Lab this week. Elise joins us after rotating in the Kralj and Fierer labs in the fall and winter and will be working on the dynamics of predator-prey interactions in microbial food webs for her rotation. Kelsey finished her rotations in the Cameron and Schmidt labs and will be working on the regulation of siderophore production in diazotrophs. Nabil recently finished his undergraduate degree in the Geo department at CU Boulder working in the Templeton Lab and will be studying isotope fractionation in acetogens. Welcome!


Geomicrobial Physiology Lab ready

Our culturing lab finished construction!

After several months of renovations, the construction on the Geomicrobial Physiology culturing lab in the Benson Earth Sciences building wrapped up earlier this week and we officially moved in today. Several pieces of equipment are already set up and ready to go and the first set of experiments is under way - it’s going to be an exciting Spring!

Getting ready to rock

The evolution of the new lab


Hiring a research assistant

The Isotope Geomicrobiology Group is seeking a highly qualified research technician and laboratory manager starting in February 2017. The Isotope Geomicrobiology Group comprises the Kopf and Wing labs located in the Benson Earth Sciences building and is focused on studying the physiology and geologic signatures (isotope effects and lipid biomarkers) of diverse geochemically relevant microorganisms (phototrophic, heterotrophic and chemolithotrophic aerobes and anaerobes across all domains of life). We regularly combine aspects of aerobic and anaerobic laboratory culture, continuous culture, molecular biology, fluorescence microscopy, aqueous chemistry, isotopic analysis, and experimental design (3D-printing, microcontroller & circuit setup), and are looking for a highly motivated individual with excellent technical, communicational and organizational skills who is looking to apply and expand their existing skillset in a friendly and highly collaborate research environment. For additional details and the CU Boulder application portal, please consult the official job posting.

Update: This position has been filled, we are excited to welcome Jody Donnelly to the lab. Thanks to everyone who applied for the great interest in this position.


Shaelyn and Allison presenting at AGU

Shaelyn Silverman is presenting a poster on Measuring Ancient Air Pressure Using Fossilized Cyanobacteria (Abstract ID 121646) on work that is part of her Senior Thesis at CU Boulder together with Sanjoy Som (NASA Ames). Allison Lee is presenting a poster on how Iron availability influences 15N-isotope fractionation during nitrogen fixation by aerobic chemoheterotroph Azotobacter vinelandii (Abstract ID 184186) on work that is part of her undergraduate research in Xinning Zhang’s new lab at Princeton University. First time at AGU, congratulations to both and have a great time at the conference!


GC-IMRS installation

The installation of our GC-IRMS is under way!

Our new gas-chromatograph (GC) isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) is getting installed and we are looking forward to getting everything up an running. This is one of the instruments housed in the Organic Geochemistry Laboratory (OGL) in the new Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC). The OGL is a shared space with Julio Sepúlveda and Gifford Miller that provides a fantastic environment for all types of organic geochemistry research. The new GC-IRMS will complement the existing instrumentation and analytical tools acquired by Julio (an LC-Orbitrap and GC-triple quadrupole) and will allow us to determine the isotopic composition of specific organic compounds buy coupling the separating power of a gas chromatograph via a combustion/pyrolysis interface to the precision of an isotope ratio mass spectrometer.


Shaelyn joins the lab

Welcome Shaelyn!

Shaelyn Silverman joins the lab to study heterocyst morphology for her undergraduate Honors Thesis in collaboration with the Templeton lab (who generously provide culturing space while the Geomicrobial Physiology Lab is still under construction) and Sanjoy Som at NASA Ames.

Lab renovations have begun

Our culturing lab is under construction!

The Geomicrobial Physiology culturing lab in the Benson Earth Sciences building is officially under construction with renovations scheduled to finish at the end of the year. We look forward to moving in and getting everything up and running early in the new year.


Nadia joins the OGL

Welcome Nadia!

Nadia Dildar starts today as the laboratory manager for the joined Organic Geochemistry Lab in the new Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC). Nadia will be helping us setup and keep all the new analytical instrumentation from the Sepúlveda and Kopf labs up and running and manage the general infrastructure of the organic geochemistry lab. We are very excited she is joining the lab. Welcome!


OGL building almost finished

The Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC) is almost finished with a brand-new three story wet chemistry laboratory building attached via sky-bridge to the existing office and dry lab spaces. The Organic Geochemistry Laboratory will be housed on the second floor of this new building and comprise a large open lab space for joint equipment and research space. Construction has entered its final phase and we are planning to start the move into this fantastic new lab in Spring 2016.