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Research at St Andrews

Aubrey Lea Zerkle

Person

Aubrey Lea Zerkle
Postal address:
The Irvine Building
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9AL
United Kingdom

Research overview

I am a biogeochemist and Co-PI of the Peter James Clark Centre for Philosophical Geobiology. My primary interests are on the early Earth and extraterrestrial environments.

Research in my group focuses on understanding the co-evolution of life with planetary environments over geologic timescales. We utilize a multi-disciplinary approach, including stable isotope geochemistry, microbiology, trace element and nutrient analyses, to examine these interactions and possible feedbacks in modern and paleo-environments. Current research projects revolve around three broad areas:

  1. Establishing and evaluating stable isotope biosignatures for microbial activity, on Earth and beyond;

  2. Examining biogeochemical cycling in extreme environments that act as modern "analogues" to ancient Earth and Martian systems (e.g., euxinic and acidic environments);

  3. Investigating feedbacks between the geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere during important transitions in Earth history, including the Great Oxidation Event and mass extinction events. 

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