Geobiology is the study of how life and Earth interact and co-evolve, both in the present-day and throughout Earth history. Thus, this research includes investigations of the rock record, modern ecosystems including analogues of past environments, and laboratory-based experiments to examine mechanisms through which organisms interact with their environment. Examples of active geobiology research at Michigan include examining the development of global biogeochemical cycles, exploring how Banded Iron Formations and other chemical sediments record evidence of Precambrian microbial metabolisms, reconstructing the composition of the atmosphere during key periods of biologic innovation, studying the ecological and environmental causes of toxic cyanobacterial blooms, interrogating the bioavailability of geologically-derived heavy metals in the environment, and investigating the microbiology, biogeochemistry, and sedimentology of microbial mats that are analogues of Precambrian 'mat world'.

Faculty Specialties Associated Laboratories and Research Groups
Joel Blum Isotope Geochemistry, Geochemistry of heavy metals, mercury in the environment, geoarcheology, forest biogeochemistry  
Rose Cory Photochemistry, biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, freshwater, Arctic. Research Website
Greg Dick Environmental microbiology, microbial mats, Earth's oxygenation, harmful cyanobacterial blooms, Great Lakes. Michigan Geomicrobiology Lab
Jena Johnson Historical geomicrobiology, evolution of metabolisms, Precambrian biosignatures and astrobiology. Microbe-Mineral Lab
Jenan Kharbush Microbial Biogeochemistry, Nitrogen Cycling, Harmful algal blooms, Microbial Metabolomics, Compound-Specific Stable Isotope Analysis  
Ben Passey Analytical isotope geochemistry, paleoecology, animal diet & physiology, paleoclimate, fossil mammals.  
Nathan Sheldon Paleosols, terrestrial biogeochemistry, Precambrian geobiology, paleoecology. Continental Environments Research Group