Fe(III) minerals from formation in the presence/absence of bacteria in water to burial in the sediment. Specific focus is on the state-of-the-art, constraints on the interpretation of ancient rocks based on laboratory and field studies of bacterial mineral cycling, and method development to study biogenic mineral diagenesis.
C-isotopes track biological carbon from C-fixation to the sediment to understand diagenesis of bacterial organic carbon in a sulfidic lake. Lake Cadagno, a permanently stratified lake with oxic water overlaying anoxic bottom water, is an analogue for our oceans´ sulfide-rich, deep past.
Chirality in microbial biofilms is mediated by close interactions between the cell surface and the substratum
We investigate how microbial ecology is driven by interactions with the substrate. Combining fluorescence microscopy and careful image analysis, we couple colonies’ spatio-genetic patterning with the hardness and nutrient compositions of the environment.
The absence of organic compounds from Precambrian iron formations (IF) challenges the hypothesis of their biogenic origin. Here we have address the fate of adsorbed organic compounds during transformation from ferrihydrite to hematite. Our results show that the absence of organic content in IFs does not exclude a biogenic origin.
A view on oxygen as challenging for multicellular life and the hypoxic niche as the ancestral norm during most of Earth and animal history.
Mechanistic insight into biopolymer induced iron oxide mineralization through quantification of molecular bonding
We used dynamic force spectroscopy to directly probe binding between complex, model and natural microbial polysaccharides and common iron (oxyhydr)oxides. Our results show that polymers can induce nucleation of iron oxide which will have vast implications for both the carbon and iron cycles as well as for formation of banded iron formations.
Outlines the state-of-the-art on microbe-plastic interactions and our view of the role of biogeochemical cycles in the fate of marine plastic debris.
We argue that minerals hold an unrecognized potential for successfully transferring genetic material across environments and timescales to distant organisms.The hypothesis is illustrated in the context of the evolution of early microbial life and the oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere and offers an explanation for observed outbursts of evolutionary events caused by HGT.
We review how the only multicellular organisms with high diversity in Earth’s oxic niches - animals, plants and fungi - share functionally similar capacities to sense and respond to fluctuating oxygen concentrations.