NanoGeoBio Laboratory

What is NanoGeoBio?

NanoGeoBio represents a wide range of natural scenarios where minerals (Geo) and microorganisms (Bio) meet to leave behind nanoscale products or result in microscopic, precisely-controlled processes. Examining these products and processes provides us an alternative and insightful way to understand biogeochemical cycles as well as the co-evolution of the geosphere and the biosphere. The major goal of the NanoGeoBio Laboratory is to leverage the characterization of the smallest components and the illumination of the microscopic processes in various Earth (sub)surface settings to obtain a bigger picture regarding the biogeochemical cycling of elements and relevant implications.

Paper of the Month

The bacterial communities associated with bio-amended and non-amended subsurface sediments contaminated with uranium

We find that the subtle variations in the sediments' mineralogy, redox conditions, as well as contents of metal(loid) co-contaminants showed a pronounced effect on the associated bacterial population and composition, which mainly determines the system's performance with respect to uranium removal. Positive relationship was identified between the abundance of dissimilatory sulfate-reduction genes (i.e., drsA), markers of sulfate-reducing bacteria, and the sediments' propensity to sequester aqueous uranium.

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Project of the Month

    Biogenic versus Abiogenic Nanominerals

The physicochemical properties of a nanomineral are strongly affected by its formation processes, and thus, may indicate the nanomineral’s formation environment and mechanism. This correlation, although relevant to a myriad of geological, environmental, and material-science processes, has not yet been fully appreciated and systematically explored. In this project, our major focus is to investigate the crystal structure and reactivity of biogenic metal sulfide nanominerals and compare these biogenic nanomineral with their abiogenic counterparts. 

Welcome to Hugo!

Hugo Alarcon recently joined our lab as a PhD student. Hugo is currently enrolled in the Environmental Science and Engineering program.

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New rounds of exploration in the White Sands!

Our investigation of the relationship between the microbial communities and gypsum has begun.

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Welcome to Dr. Mansor, Rocio and Brandon!

The joining of Muammar, Rocio and Brandon will make our team stronger than ever!

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Sulfate-Reducers Successfully Cultured

Happy Desulfovibrio vulgaris and D. desulfuricans in lab!

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Copyright © Jie Xu 2018. Last updated: 2018-02-06 13 56