The aim of Geobiology 2019 is to showcase the research of early career researchers (ECR). As such, the 3-day meeting will comprise 27 invited talks by postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors during the mornings and afternoons, while the evenings will provide an opportunity for all registered attendees to present their work as posters. It is our intention to display all posters for the entire 3 days, as well as on the Sunday during the icebreaker. On Monday and Tuesday at 4:30 pm we will run point-counterpoint debates on controversial topics of timely interest, while Wednesday will be an informal session on "How not to blow the most important talk of your life" presented by Frank Corsetti. At 5:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday there will be talks by the recipients of the S. George Pemberton Award (two early-career scientists), Terry J. Beveridge Award (two mid-career scientists), and Robert M. Garrels Award (one senior scientist), respectively. After dinner on Monday and Tuesday there will be an official poster session - Wednesday evening we have organized a free night in Banff town centre. Admittedly, the schedule is full, but the aim is to maximize the number of presentations by ECR and allow all registrants greater contact time.


Please register to confirm your attendance by May 31, 2019. To support the Geobiology Society’s goal of promoting early career scientists, professors are strongly encouraged to bring at least one student or postdoctoral fellow. Geobiology 2019 has strived to offer the lowest possible registration possible for hosting an event in Banff. The registration costs will be $400 (CAD) for professors and $250 (CAD) for students and postdoctoral fellows. The registration fee includes the icebreaker party on June 9, dinner on the 10th and 11th on-site, all lunches, coffee breaks and snacks, as well as refreshments (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) at dinner and the poster sessions. Members of the Geobiology Society will have the full cost of the annual membership deducted from the registration fee.

Abstract Submission

All graduate students and post-doctoral fellows must submit an abstract for the poster presentations by May 31, 2019. Professors can submit an abstract if they choose. A link to the abstract template becomes available after you register.

Abstracts should be no more than 400 words. All abstracts will then be formatted and bundled together into an online conference proceedings volume that will be made publicly available on both the conference website and the Geobiology Society website.


Posters should be no larger than 4’ tall x 3’ wide. Tape and thumbtacks will be provided. Please proceed to the hallways leading to the poster room (KC101/103/105) on the ground floor of the Kinnear Center - also called the Husky Great Hall - to set up your poster. If you are arriving on Sunday, the poster boards will already be available by 6 pm. The boards will not be numbered so feel free to hang your poster on any available board you want. The official poster session will end by 6 pm on Wednesday.

Schedule and Program

The talks will officially begin at 8:35 am on Monday, June 10, in the auditorium of the Max Bell Building.

Sunday, June 9 Monday, June 10 Tuesday, June 11 Wednesday, June 12
THEME 1 - Metabolic Imprints on Ecosystems

Chairs: Andrea Sepulveda (MPI Bremen) and Anna Waldeck (Harvard)

                       THEME 4 - Environmental                        Geomicrobiology I

Chairs: Weiduo Hao (Alberta) and Mary Sabuda (Minnesota)

THEME 7 - Evolution of the Precambrian Geosphere

Chairs: Andrew Heard (Chicago) and Sigrid Soomer (Tartu)

8:35 Neoproterozoic field trip (all day) introduction to the conference
8:50 session chair intro to theme 1 session chair intro to theme 4 session chair intro to theme 7
9:00 Talk 1 - Jordon Hemingway (Harvard) Talk 10 - Bhoopesh Mishra (Leeds) Talk 19 -  Brad Foley (Penn State)
Ageing and preservation of natural organic matter Environmental geomicrobiology through an x-ray vision Tectonic styles on the early Earth
9:30 Talk 2 - Nagissa Mahmoudi (McGill) Talk 11 - Kim Handley (Auckland) Talk 20  -  Ashleigh Hood (Melbourne)
Elucidating microbial species-specific effects on organic matter  transformation in marine sediments Picking the winners: how estuarine macroalgae influence competition in the microbial nitrogen and sulfur cycles of tidal flats Hangovers and ice ages: the evolution of Precambrian marine carbonate systems
10:00 Talk 3 - James Bradley (Queen Mary London) Talk 12 - Carla Rosenfeld (Northwestern) Talk 21 -  Ben Johnson (UC Boulder)
Widespread energy limitation in marine sediments Mycogenic biogeochemistry: metal(loid) transformations, biomineralization, and the implications for bioremediation Connecting the spheres: how the geosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere interacted during the Precambrian
10:30 coffee break coffee break coffee break
THEME 2 - Microbial Evolutionary Biology and Ecophysiology

Chairs: Nick Reichart (Montana State) and Sarah Schwartz (MIT)

                     THEME 5 - Environmental                        Geomicrobiology II

Chairs: Ella Holme (Stony Brook) and Julia Huggins (UBC)

THEME 8 - Evolution of the Precambrian Biosphere

Chairs: Michael Kipp (Washington) and Kaarel Mand (Alberta)

10:50 session chair intro to theme 2 session chair intro to theme 5 session chair intro to theme 8
11:00 Talk 4 - Maggie Osburn (Northwestern) Talk 13 - Julie Cosmidis (Penn State) Talk 22 - Martin Homann (Brest)
Geobiology of the Deep Mine Microbial Observatory Microbial formation of extracellular sulfur minerals It’s a mats world: new insights on shallow marine and terrestrial life in the Paleoarchean
11:30 Talk 5 - Rika Anderson (Carleton College) Talk 14 - Dylan Wilmeth (IPGP) Talk 23 - Kazumi Ozaki (Tokyo)
Evolution of microbial populations in deep-sea hydrothermal vents Field and experimental silicification of microbial mats from El Tatio, Chile The coupled evolution of life and the atmosphere
12:00 Talk 6 - William Leavitt (Dartmouth) Talk 15 - Sebastian Kopf (UC Boulder) Talk 24 - Peter Crockford (Weizmann Institute)
Archaea lipid indicators of energy limitation in extreme environments Geobiological approaches to studying the environmental chemistry and microbial ecology of chronic infections Quantifying the productivity of Earth's ancient biosphere
12:30 lunch lunch lunch
THEME 3 - Modern Organisms as Portals to Ancient Worlds

Chairs: Kelsey Moore (MIT) and Kathryn Rico (Michigan)

THEME 6 - Sedimentary Geomicrobiology

Chairs: Maya LaGrange (Alberta) and Ichiko Sugiyama (Weizmann Institut)

THEME 9 - Phanerozoic Earth-Life Transitions

Chairs: Thomas Boag (Stanford) and Alison Cribb (USC)

1:50 session chair intro to theme 3 session chair intro to theme 6 session chair intro to theme 9
2:00 Talk 7 - Maya Gomes (Johns Hopkins) Talk 16 - Kristin Bergmann (MIT) Talk 25 - Greg Henkes (Stony Brook)
Microbial mat taphonomy: Modern insights into biosignature preservations in Earth's earliest ecosystem Carbonates and climate before biomineralization The state of proxy consensus for Paleozoic sea surface temperatures
2:30 Talk 8 - Casey Bryce (Tuebingen) Talk 17 - Anne Sofie Ahm (Princeton) Talk 26 - Kim Lau (Wyoming)
Photoferrotrophs and the evolution of the nitrogen cycle The geochemical record of a Snowball Earth Reconstructing anoxia in Phanerozoic oceans: insights from paleo-redox proxies
3:00 Talk 9 - Judith Klatt (MPI Bremen) Talk 18 - Sarah Keenan (South Dakota School of Mines) Talk 27 - David Gold (UC Davis)
Spinning down to oxygenation: role of daylength in O2 export from microbial mats Temporal and spatial dynamics of animal decomposition in terrestrial systems Sterol genomics and the rise of animal life
3:30 Auditorium: breakout session from all talks

MB252: Tiffany Lancaster, NSERC
Discovery Grants Program

Auditorium: breakout session from all talks

MB252: Clint Walker, Agilent
Developments in trace analysis in geochemistry/geobiology using ICP-MS/MS

Auditorium: breakout session from all talks

MB252: Kayla Zavitske, NSERC
Scholarships and Fellowships

4:30 Point-Counterpoint (chaired by Noah Planavsky, Yale and Maggie Osburn, Northwestern) Point-Counterpoint (chaired by Gregory Dick, Michigan) Professional Development Session (talk by Frank Corsetti, USC)
Topic 1 - Carbonate carbon isotope excursions: Tracers of global biogeochemical change or records of diagenetic processes? Topic 2 - What provides a better indicator of ancient metabolisms - the rock or genomic records? How not to blow the most important talk of your life
Team 1: Kristin Bergmann (MIT) and Alan Kaufman (Maryland) Team 1: Sasha Turchyn (Cambridge) and Stefan Lalonde (Brest)
Team 2: John Higgins (Princeton) Team 2: Trinity Hamilton (Minnesota) and Patrick Shih (UC Davis)
5:30 Pemberton Award talks (early-career) Beveridge Award talks (mid-career) Garrels Award talk (senior)
Kelly Wrighton (Colorado State University) Andreas Kappler (Tuebingen) Susan Brantley (Penn State)
Survivor fractured shales: introduced microbes compete, cooperate, and ward off viral elimination More than nice images: using electron microscopy to identify mechanisms of microbe-mineral interactions Subsurface landscapes of oxidation and reaction in the critical zone
Noah Planavsky (Yale) Dianne Newman (Caltech)
The long-term evolution of the size and structure of the biosphere A colourful solution to the challenge of breathing through a biofilm
7:00 welcome icebreaker on-site dinner on-site dinner and bar dinner in Banff
8:00 official poster session with beverages official poster session with beverages bowling or mechanical bull riding/karaoke