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Geobiology
Gordon Research Conference

Reconstructing Processes from Genes to the Geologic Record

Dates

January 31 - February 5, 2016

Location

Hotel Galvez
Galveston, TX

Organizers

Chair:
David A. Fike

Vice Chair:
Tanja Bosak

Meeting Description

Geobiology investigates the coevolution of life and the environment over the entirety of Earth history, from life’s early beginnings to modern biogeochemical processes. At this meeting, we discuss critical biological, chemical, and physical processes and feedbacks in the natural world, and reconstruct how these have changed over Earth history. To investigate these questions, we explore the modern tools of molecular biology, microbial ecology, geochemistry, paleontology, and geology. The proposed sessions cover experimental and environmental microbiology, depositional environments and their relation to biogeochemical processes, and the nature of geobiological information preserved in the geologic record. These sessions highlight open questions, novel experimental and conceptual approaches, and active areas of research within the field. The resulting meeting will bring together scientists across the globe to exchange ideas, tools, and expertise from different subdisciplines. The conference will highlight the breadth of modern tools and approaches and improve the recognition of limits and uncertainties, both analytical and interpretational, in various subfields. A major goal of the conference will be to facilitate bridge building across the disparate fields within geobiology, particularly from the geological and biological ends of the spectrum.

Contributors

Final Meeting Program

Sunday
4:00 pm - 8:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmKeynote Session: Cryptic Microbial Cycles
Discussion Leader: Alexandra Sasha Turchyn (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:50 pm - 8:25 pmBo Barker Jorgensen (Aarhus University, Denmark)
"Sulfate Reduction in Marine Sediments Revisited"
8:25 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:15 pmOrit Sivan (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
"The Complex Redox Couplings Between Methane, Iron and Sulfur in Marine and Lake Sediments"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Monday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMicrobial Ecology in Surface Environments
Discussion Leader: Victoria Orphan (California Institute of Technology, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:50 amGregory Dick (University of Michigan, USA)
"Determining Microbial and Geochemical Controls on Oxygen Production in a Modern Analog of Precambrian Cyanobacterias Mats"
9:50 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:20 amSara Pruss (Smith College, USA)
"Microbial Signatures in Modern Bahamian Ooids"
11:20 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 12:15 pmEric Boyd (Montana State University, USA)
"Oxygen and the Evolution of Acidophiles"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
3:00 pm - 4:00 pmPower Hour
The GRC Power Hour is an optional informal gathering open to all meeting participants. It is designed to help address the challenges women face in science and support the professional growth of women in our communities by providing an open forum for discussion and mentoring.
Organizers: Tanja Bosak (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Sara Pruss (Smith College, USA)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmNitrogen in Marine Environments
Discussion Leader: Michael Follows (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:20 pmBrian Popp (University of Hawaii, USA)
"Particle Degradation and the Importance of Sinking Particles to Meso- and Bathypelagic Food Webs in the North Pacific Revealed Though Amino Acid Isotope Analysis"
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 9:15 pmJulie Granger (University of Connecticut, USA)
"The Physiological Bases of N and O Isotope Fractionation During Nitrate Reduction and Implications for Interpretation of Nitrate Isotope Distributions in the Environment"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Tuesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMicrobial Ecology and Evolution Through the Lens of Bioinformatics
Discussion Leader: John Vollmers (Leibniz-Institut DSMZ, Germany)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:50 amLaura Hug (University of Waterloo, Canada)
"Uncovering Microbial Diversity Through Genome-Resolved Metagenomics"
9:50 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:20 amAdam Arkin (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"Characterizing the Genetic Determinants of Survival and Adaptation in Diverse Microbes and Environments"
11:20 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 12:15 pmGregory Fournier (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Estimated Divergence Times of Purple and Green Sulfur Bacteria Independently Support a Paleoproterozoic Onset of Marine Euxinia"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmBiosignature Generation: Who, How, and Where
Discussion Leader: David Des Marais (NASA, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:20 pmAnn Pearson (Harvard University, USA)
"The Carbon Isotope Record and Microbial Life: Old Paradigms and Emerging Patterns"
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 9:15 pmPaula Welander (Stanford University, USA)
"Sterol Biosynthesis in the Bacterial Domain"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Wednesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmDepositional Constraints on Geobiological Signals
Discussion Leader: Robert Aller (Stony Brook University, State University of New York, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:50 amWilliam Berelson (University of Southern California, USA)
"Open System - Closed System Behavior in Hemipelagic Sediments: Tales from the Modern and Ancient"
9:50 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:20 amItay Halevy (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
"Depositional Controls on Preserved Sulfur Isotope Variability in Modern and Ancient Marine Sediments"
11:20 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 12:15 pmRachel Wood (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
"Ediacaran Geobiology: The Present Is Not the Key to the Deep Past"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmMetals as Biogeochemical Proxies
Discussion Leader: Elizabeth Swanner (Iowa State University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:20 pmJeff Catalano (Washington University, USA)
"Element Repartitioning During Low-Temperature Mineral Recrystallization: Implications for Trace Metal Proxies"
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 9:15 pmStefan Lalonde (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France)
"Modern Insights into Precambrian Metal Cycling"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Thursday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 am - 9:00 amBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
9:00 am - 12:30 pmDeep Time Records
Discussion Leader: Lee Kump (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:50 amDavid Rowley (University of Chicago, USA)
"The Preserved Record of Global Mean Spread Rate Variability"
9:50 am - 10:10 amDiscussion
10:10 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:20 amShanan Peters (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
"Earth Systems Evolution: A Deep-Time View from the Upper Crust"
11:20 am - 11:35 amDiscussion
11:35 am - 12:15 pmJohn Higgins (Princeton University, USA)
"What Environmental Information Is Recorded in Ancient Carbonate Sediments? New Insights from Ca and Mg Isotopes"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmNovel Tools and Techniques
Discussion Leader: Woodward Fischer (California Institute of Technology, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:20 pmAlex Gagnon (University of Washington, USA)
"What Elements Are Skeletons Made of and How Do They Get There? Can We Solve the Biomineralization Question with SIMS?"
8:20 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 9:15 pmJena Johnson (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Understanding Manganese Reduction Using Time-Resolved Synchrotron-Based Experiments"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Friday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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