To find clues to major events of the past, the Biogeochemistry Group at ANU studies molecular fossils of biological lipids (biomarkers) that can be preserved in sediments and sedimentary rocks. Using biomarkers, we study extremely ancient and strange ecosystems such as sulphidic oceans that once existed to the north of Australia billions of years ago, or modern environments such as salt lakes in Australia's outback.
We elucidate environmental cataclysms that caused major mass extinctions, fluctuations of geochemical cycles that may have triggered the first emergence of complex life, and human induced environmental catastrophes such as the salinization of lakes and the pollution of estuaries.
If you are looking for a project that combines aspects of geology, chemistry, biology and environmental sciences, and you are interested in topics such as the origin and early evolution of life, climate change, organic chemistry, microbiology or environmental genomics, then you can join one of our current projects or bring your own ideas to the group. Contact the supervisor directly for more information.