Trace metal distribution in contemporary versus paleo-reef microbialites: implications for microbial activity, ocean chemistry and palaeoclimate
Understanding early life
The ability to recognise the presence of living microorganisms and their ancient counterparts in marine precipitates, i.e., microbialites (rocks made by microbial communities), is crucial for understanding the development and history of early life on Earth.
As our understanding of these ecosystems increases, we find that such rocks hold the keys to understanding the geochemical evolution of the oceans and linked Earth systems.
Many samples preserve geochemical evidence of the water chemistry from which they precipitated.
This project is aimed at testing the fine distribution of ambient and bio-active nutrient metals accumulated within modern and ancient microbialites.