Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Geobiology (GRS)
Gordon Research Seminar

From Past to Present – Integrating Modern Techniques, Laboratory Studies, Analogue Environments, and Chemostratigraphy to Unravel the Geobiology of Modern and Ancient Environments


January 20-21, 2018


Hotel Galvez
Galveston, TX Site Information


Leslie (Jamie) J. Robbins & Mirna Daye

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 23, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

GRS Speaker Abstract Deadline: Although applications will be accepted until the date noted above, any applicants who wish to be considered for an oral presentation should submit their application by October 20, 2017. Please refer to the application instructions in the Meeting Description section below for more details (if available).

Meeting Description


The Gordon Research Seminar on Geobiology is the ideal venue for graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and senior scientists to come together and discuss cutting edge, unpublished research over a two-day period and support a new cohort of early career scientists. The GRS has an inherent focus on providing graduate students and early career scientists the opportunity to present their most recent research in a collegial environment meant to foster discussion.

We seek presentations that will generate informative discussions on the following themes:

  • modern environments as analogues for ancient environments
  • metabolic signatures of deeply rooted metabolisms in modern and ancient sediments
  • modern and ancient chemostratigraphic studies including trace elements and isotopes
  • laboratory or field based experimental geobiology
  • microbial surface reactivity, biomineralization, and metal cycling

Application Instructions

The meeting will feature approximately 10 talks and 2 poster sessions. All attendees are expected to actively participate in the GRS either by giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster. Therefore, all applications must include an abstract.

The Chairs will select speakers from abstracts submitted by October 20, 2017. Those applicants who are not chosen for talks and those who apply after the deadline to be considered for an oral presentation will be expected to present a poster. In order to participate, you must submit an application by the date indicated in the Application Deadline section above.

Related Meeting

This GRS will be held in conjunction with the "Geobiology" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRC in addition to an application for the GRS. Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 5:00 pmArrival and Check-in
3:30 pm - 3:45 pmIntroductory Comments by GRC Site Staff / Welcome by the GRS Conference Chair
3:45 pm - 4:30 pmKeynote Session: Geobiology in Modern Environments
Discussion Leader: Allison Enright (Rutgers University - Newark, USA)
3:45 pm - 3:50 pmOpening Remarks
3:50 pm - 4:20 pmVictoria Petryshyn (University of Southern California, USA)
"Everything I Know Is Wrong: Lessons from Modern Analogue Environments"
4:20 pm - 4:30 pmDiscussion
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmExperimental Geobiology: Culturing, Laboratory Studies, and Interfacial Analyses
Discussion Leader: Shannon Flynn (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
7:30 pm - 7:50 pmEmma Bertran (Harvard University, USA)
"Oxygen Isotope Trends During Microbial Sulfate Reduction"
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmDiscussion
8:00 pm - 8:20 pmSarah Hurley (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
"Carbon Isotope Fractionation by Extant Cyanobacteria and Physiological Analogs of Their Ancestors"
8:20 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:50 pmMelody Lindsay (Montana State University, USA)
"Subsurface Source and Biological Fate of Hydrogen in the Yellowstone Geothermal Complex"
8:50 pm - 9:00 pmDiscussion
9:00 pm - 9:20 pmEmily Fulk (Rice University, USA)
"Programmed Genetic Memory to Study Microbial Recall of Past Soil Processes"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amArchean to Proterozoic Geobiology: Microbial Evolution
Discussion Leader: Gareth Izon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
9:00 am - 9:20 amMarie Catherine Sforna (Université de Liège, Belgium)
"Cm- to nm-Scale Distribution Patterns of Carbonaceous Material and Transition Metals in Archean and Modern Microbialites: Keys to Identify Metabolic and Taphonomic Processes in the Fossil Rock Record"
9:20 am - 9:30 amDiscussion
9:30 am - 9:50 amPeter Crockford (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
"Tracing the Evolution of the Earth System Through an Isotopic Record of Proterozoic Sulfate"
9:50 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:20 amBryan Killingsworth (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France)
"Oxygen Isotope Signals of Water and Air Preserved in Sulfate"
10:20 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 10:50 amSiyu Hu (Mineral Resources, CSIRO, Australia)
"How Does Extremophile Life Live with High Toxic Elements in Hydrothermal Chimneys?"
10:50 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 12:30 pmPoster Session
Coffee will be served in the poster area from 11:00 am - 11:30 am

Coffee will be served in the poster area from 11:00 am - 11:30 am
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmNeoproterozoic to Phanerozoic Geobiology: Animal and Plant Evolution
Discussion Leader: Kimberly Myers (Texas A&M University, USA)
1:30 pm - 1:50 pmAlex Zumberge (University of California, Riverside, USA)
"A Novel Demosponge Steroid Biomarker Provides Evidence for Neoproterozoic Animals"
1:50 pm - 2:00 pmDiscussion
2:00 pm - 2:20 pmDaniel Dick (University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada)
"Fuzzy Ecospace Modelling: A Fuzzy Set Theory-Based Method for Comparing Ediacaran and Modern Ecosystems"
2:20 pm - 2:30 pmDiscussion
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmEvaluation Period
Fill in GRS Evaluation Forms
3:00 pmSeminar Concludes
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