Micro 5160

Body

Geomicrobiology


Credit Hour(s): 3 Units
Instructor(s): TBD
Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): Senior (Rank 4) or Graduate standing in Department of Microbiology, School of Earth Sciences, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering, or School of Environment and Natural Resources
Role in Microbiology Major: Group 1 Elective
Additional Information: Cross-listed in Earth Sciences

Lecture Topics:

  • The physical properties of microorganisms as they relate to respiration, mineral nucleation, and transport of solutes
  • Abundance and diversity of microorganisms in subsurface environments, including the deep biosphere
  • The mechanisms via which microorganisms can exist in the absence of oxygen, and how these metabolisms can alter the local and global environment (e.g., sulfide generation, iron oxidation)
  • Microbially-catalyzed cycling of iron and sulfur in the present and the early-earth. This topic will include discussions on microbial iron- and sulfate-reduction, and microbial oxidation of reduced iron and sulfur species
  • Harnessing of microbial metabolism for the in situ remediation of contaminant metals and organic compounds
  • Microbially-catalyzed mineral precipitation and weathering
  • Role of microorganisms in early Earth, including the generation of reduced chemical species, and the response to oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere.

Learning Outcomes:

Successful students will be able to..

  • Understand microbial roles in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycling across aerobic and anaerobic environments
  • Describe the constraints on microbial abundances and growth rates in the subsurface
  • Understand critical, newly discovered metabolic processes such as Commamox, Anammox, and long-range electron transfer
  • Understand the role of redox chemistry in coupled microbial-geochemical reactions
  • Describe microbe-metal interactions, including reduction and oxidation of iron and manganese minerals
  • Appreciate the role of microorganisms in remediation of contaminated subsurface environments
  • Understand the role and effects of viral activity in the subsurface