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On this page, you’ll find information about geobiology as a discipline, what University of Alberta geobiologists are researching, and the effect their work has.
Geobiology is a relatively new scientific field that incorporates earth sciences and biology to investigate how the physical Earth affects and interacts with the biosphere. The biosphere is the ecological system that comprises all living things on Earth.
Changes in one sphere inevitably affect the other, so it’s imperative that we monitor these changes as a way of mitigating negative impacts.
Read some of the exciting news stories about UAlberta geobiologists whose work is helping excavate Earth’s evolutionary mysteries.
Particles in ancient seawater helped cyanobacteria to oxygenate Earth’s oceans billions of years ago
July 11, 2018
Discovery provides evidence of iron-rich seawater much later than previously thought.
April 6, 2018
An interdisciplinary team of scientists explores Lake Hazen’s rapid response to climate change.
April 10, 2018
UAlberta scientists’ work on solar fuels may help solve storage problems.
January 5, 2017
International team of scientists discovered that shifts in phosphorus cycle are responsible for evolution of life on Earth
September 19, 2016
Scientists uncover insights into the formation of Earth's oldest continental crust.
April 18, 2016
Copper provides clues to the rise of oxygen on Earth.
Join Brian Lanoil (Biological Sciences) as he discusses how studying microorganisms that can live in extreme environments, like the Arctic, could give us insight into where we might find life elsewhere in the Solar System and beyond.
Read about UAlberta alumni, Ryan Schultz, who has been studying earthquakes in Fox Creek, Alberta since they started in 2013.
Read about the UAlberta geoscience students who won the Canadian division of a mock energy exploration trial.
Daniel Alessi (Earth Sciences) talks about the importance of industry partnerships with the University and how they can be used to answer relevant applied problems in Canada today. In this video, he talks about the work he and his team are doing with Encana to improve the water cycle in hydraulic fracturing and reducing the environmental footprint of the operations.
Do you have questions about geobiology? Talk to some of our professors:
Brian Jones's Research Focus: carbonate sedimentology and diagenesis, hot spring and geyser precipitates and microbes, and microbial activity in caves
Brian Lanoil's Research Focus: microbiology of icy arctic environments, and microbiology of reclamation of energy extraction impacted systems (reclamation genomics)
Daniel Alessi's Research Focus: low-temperature geochemistry, water resources, environmental geomicrobiology
John-Paul Zonneveld's Research Focus: sedimentology, paleoecology, paleontology, and the interface between geological and biological systems
Karlis Muehlenbachs' Research Focus: stable isotope geochemistry, oceans, water-rock interaction, paleoclimate, oxygen diffusion in minerals, groundwater contamination by natural gas, and in-situ steam-assisted heavy oil extraction
Kurt Konhauser's Research Focus: microbe-mineral interactions through time, origins of banded iron formations, ancient paleo-redox conditions on Earth, and Neoproterozoic glaciations and animal evolution
Lisa Stein's Research Focus: the physiology, genomics, and ecology of nitrification, denitrification, and single single carbon metabolism; influence of microbial metabolism on greenhouse gas production; industrialization of microorganisms using single-carbon feedstocks
Murray Gingras's Research Focus: petroleum geology, modern sedimentary environments, stratigraphy, and using ichnology and sedimentology to better understand hydrocarbon reservoirs
Find a Professor
Are you interested in studying geobiology? Find out how you can start your undergraduate academic career with the Earth Sciences Program in the Faculty of Science.
Are you interested in graduate studies in geobiology?
Check out the Graduate Studies Program with the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and research anything from environmental earth sciences to human geography to oceanography. Click the button below to get the boulder rolling on your academic career.
As a research institution, the University of Alberta boasts many collections, museums, and facilities to help enhance the education of our students. Check out all of the resources related to geobiology we have to offer in the links below.
Looking for expert comment?
Contact Jennifer Pascoe, Director of Communications & Engagement at: