Chemical and biogenic Sediments/Geobiology

Earth's sedimentary record is approximately 3.8 billion years old. During more than two third of this time, Earth was inhabited exclusively by microbes (bacteria and archaea). Microbes had and still have a tremendous impact on the conditions on Earth by catalysing biogeochemical processes and thereby affecting global material and energy fluxes. Microbes also have strongly altered the geological record by influencing the precipitation and dissolution of minerals.

The Chemical and biogenic Sediments/Geobiology Group led by Patrick Meister investigates how microbial life, along with abiotic processes, has influenced biogeochemical cycles throughout Earth history and how these effects are documented in the geological record. The studies include both the rock record and modern analogues, while the feasibility of new concepts is tested by model simulations.