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Research at St Andrews

Aubrey Lea Zerkle


Aubrey Lea Zerkle
Postal address:
School of Earth and Enviro Sciences
Bute Building
Queen's Terrace
St Andrews

United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 464949

Research overview

I am a stable isotope geochemist and geobiologist with primary research interests in the early Earth and extraterrestrial environments. I'm the lead PI of the quadruple sulfur isotope anaytical facilities in the St Andrews Stable Isotope Group, and Co-PI of the inter-disciplinary Peter James Clark Centre for Philosophical Geobiology

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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