To better understand evolution on Earth, it makes sense to investigate how the planet itself has changed over the millenia. Geobiologists examine how changes of the physical Earth affect the organisms living on it and their interactions with it and each other.

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.

What Is Geobiology?

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.


Geobiology News

Read some of the exciting news stories about UAlberta geobiologists whose work is helping excavate Earth's evolutionary mysteries.

Read geobiology news


 Arctic Microorganisms: The Answer to Finding Extraterrestrial Life

Brian Lanoil on studying ice cores

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.

UAlberta Geobiologists

Do you have questions about geobiology? Talk to some of our professors:

Are you looking for another professor in geoscience?

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Konhauser, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and McCalla Professor, has been named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Photo credit: John Ulan

2020 Division Awards for outstanding geobiologists

We are pleased to announce that the 2020 Distinguished Career Award go to Kurt Konhauser from Department of Earth & Atmospheric Science, University of Alberta.

An interdisciplinary network dedicated to the sustainability of mountain environments and communities across the country and around the world, the Canadian Mountain Network unites academics, practitioners, community members, and innovators from across Canada. Photo credit: UAlberta

Climb every mountain: Canada's newest Network of Centres of Excellence to be hosted at the University of Alberta

Canadian Mountain Network to receive $18.3M in funding over the next five years through the national Networks of Centres of Excellence program.

How UAlberta Is Helping Reduce the Environmental Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing

Collaborative research: improving the water cycle in hydraulic fracturing

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.