Co-Evolution of Planet and Biota
In collaboration with the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) Alternative Earths, we are examining the parallel evolution of planetary biogeochemistry and organismal evolution. Our team examines the molecular fossil record to determine organismal evolutionary timelines in parallel with the biological usage of the trace metal elements such as Fe, Cu, Zn, and Ni.
These datasets are then reconciled with geological records in collaboration with our NAI team in order to create increasingly detailed records of the history of the planet. This is a broad project with many facets, and we continue to explore the evolutionary history of specific metalloenzymes and microbial lineages.