Congratulations to Maija Raudsepp, 2018 MSA Kraus Grant awardee!

Even more good news from the EEGL: Maija Raudsepp has been awarded the 2018 Mineralogical Society of America Grant from the Edward H. Kraus Crystallographic Research Fund. This is an internationally competitive grant that is awarded once annually. The Kraus Grant supports research by early career scientists working in the field of mineralogical crystallography, encompassing mineralogy, crystal chemistry, petrology, mineral physics, biomineralization and geochemistry. Congratulations on this very well deserved honour, Maija!

Congratulations to Connor Turvey on the completion of his Ph.D. and on taking up a postdoctoral fellowship!

Congratulations to Connor Turvey on completing his Ph.D. in carbon mineralization and stable carbon, oxygen and magnesium isotope geochemistry of hydrotalcite supergroup minerals! Awesome work, Connor! Further congrats on the Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at The University of British Columbia. Best wishes for success in your PDF!

Welcome to Maija Raudsepp!

Welcome to Dr. Maija Raudsepp who has joined the EEGL team a as Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Maija is a geomicrobiologist who is working on the biogeochemistry of sediments in hypersaline lakes. She has a wealth of experience studying how microorganisms cycle sulfur, iron and methane in sedimentary environments, including in the deep subsurface via an IODP expedition.

You can learn more about Maija’s work here.

M.Sc. and Ph.D. Projects in Sustainable Mineral Resources, Biogeochemistry, and Environmental Behaviour of Minerals

Applications are welcome for several M.Sc. and Ph.D. projects starting September 2018 in the Environmental Economic Geology Laboratory at the University of Alberta. Graduate researchers will join an interdisciplinary research team under the supervision of Dr. Siobhan (Sasha) Wilson.

We are looking for independent, creative and collaborative students who are interested in developing new ideas (1) to improve the environmental sustainability of mineral resource extraction, (2) that forward our understanding of how biology affects pore water chemistry and mineralogy in sedimentary environments, and (3) that provide insights into how the properties of minerals shape environmental change from tiny pores to the landscape scale.

Applicants should have an Honours bachelor’s degree (for the M.Sc.) or a master’s degree (for the Ph.D.) in Earth or environmental sciences, chemistry, materials science or a closely allied field. Previous laboratory or field research experience is advantageous. Successful applicants will have opportunities to conduct experiments in the laboratory, field and/or at synchrotron light sources as well as fieldwork in natural and/or mining environments in Canada and possibly abroad. Research students will have opportunities to work together on projects to build new expertise and to collaborate with postdoctoral subject experts on the team.

How to apply:
Applicants must meet the entry requirements for the relevant degree at the University of Alberta. To apply, please provide (1) a copy of your full CV, (2) a short cover letter describing your research experience and interests (this can be in the form of an email), (3) copies of university transcripts (unofficial ones are fine), and (4) the names of no less than 3 academic references. These should be sent to Sasha Wilson at sawilson@ualberta.ca. Please address questions about research projects to the same email account.

Commitment to diversity:
The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

Three (3) PDF Positions in Geochemistry of Accelerated Carbonation of Mine Wastes

Applications are now open for three postdoctoral research positions in the geochemistry/biogeochemistry of accelerated carbonation of ultramafic mine wastes. One position will be held at each of Trent University, the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia in Canada. All applications will be considered together and full details can be found here.

Review of applications will commence on 15 January 2018 and continue until the positions are filled. Applications and queries regarding the positions should be sent to carbon.mineralization@gmail.com.

The EEGL at the University of Alberta

The lab is relocating to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada for January 2018. We’ll have two nodes, one at the University of Alberta and one at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia for the first few months of 2018. By mid-2018, all of our work will be done at our new base at the UofA.

Our focus has always been on the (bio)geochemistry of ore deposits, how ores and mineral wastes react at Earth’s surface, as well as drawing lessons from the geochemistry of natural analogue systems, particularly chemical sediments – from the bottoms of lakes to the cements that form on meteorites. The long term goal of our work is to use an Earth Systems approach to help embed environmental stewardship into every step of the mining life cycle, not just the end stage of remediation. Our name has changed a little with the move to better reflect our strengths in this area: we are now the Environmental Economic Geology Laboratory. In keeping with tradition, our acronym is still pronounced “eagle”.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more about this new chapter for our research.

New publication: Environmental microorganisms colonise meteorites and leave a record of their presence

Hot off the press: In a new study led by Alastair Tait, we have shown that environmental microorgansims from Australia’s arid Nullarbor Plain very commonly colonise stony meteorites that have fallen to Earth. Microbes take advantage of the composition and properties of minerals in meteorites to scavenge water, regulate pH, and derive nutrients and energy. They also leave behind a variety of biomarkers (geochemical records of their presence). Because stony meteorites are amongst the best studied rocks in our solar system, we might be able to use them as a sort of “standard” to detect biomarkers on Mars and beyond.

You can learn more about this work here: 10.1016/j.gca.2017.07.025.