Asking Different Questions About the Great Oxidation Event

Thursday, April 1 at 11:00AM (MDT): Dr. Dawn Sumner


The Great Oxidation Event changed Earth’s surface oxidation state, on average. However, this transformation depended on the accumulated effects of cyanobacterial evolution, microbial interactions and chemical reactions in diverse microenvironments with heterogeneous biogeochemical cycling. Using geological data as well as microbial ecology and genomics from modern microbial communities, I will show how asking questions about differences in environments and communities when molecular oxygen was first being produced leads to new ideas, distinct from those trying to pin down changes at the global scale. I’ll highlight how each of my lab group members contributes meaningfully to the questions we are exploring in an approach built on ideas from intersectional feminism.

2021 – Dr. Dawn Sumner