11 December 2013

Where Are They Now?

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Wonder where they went after they left MIT? Here are the current placements of a number of recent Summons lab alumni over the last few years. To see more, head over to the Alumni page.

 

Jake Waldbauer, a former graduate student, is now Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. There’s a short piece about his arrival at Chicago here, and he’s quoted in this piece in Chicago’s university magazine. You can find his contact details in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences faculty directory.

 

Paula Welander, a former postdoc, is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University. There’s an article about her here, and her lab website here.

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Alex Bradley, a former graduate student, is now Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. You can find his lab website here, including this nice description of his work. You can also keep up with him on Twitter.

 

Amy Kelly, former graduate student, is now Geochemist/Basin Modeller at Shell International Exploration and Production. She also teaches at the University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

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Phoebe Cohen, onetime Summons lab postdoc and Education/Public Outreach Lead for the NASA Astrobiology Institute team headquartered at MIT, is now Assistant Professor of Geosciences at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. You can read about her work in the Berkshire Eagle (a newspaper of record for Western Massachusetts) here, and check out her lab website here. Phoebe also won the 2012 Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award. You can hear her talking about chasing rocks and bears in her Story Collider podcast episode.

 

Christian Hallmann is a former postdoc who now leads the Organic Paleobiogeochemistry Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry at Jena; Chris also holds a joint appointment as Staff Scientist at MARUM in Bremen. You can visit his group’s website here and his webpage at MARUM here.

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5 December 2013

To Make a Virtual Fieldtrip, Start with a Real One

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Roger Summons explains the role of microbial activity in the formation of oolitic sand

 

In June 2013, Roger Summons and postdoc Ben Kotrc, with colleague Tanja Bosak, embarked on a field excursion to several sites in Western Australia as part of an Education and Public Outreach project under the auspices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute headquartered in the Summons lab and carried out in partnership with our NAI colleagues at ASU. The aim of the trip was to gather material for developing a Virtual Fieldtrip to several sites of tremendous importance to understanding early life—including Shark Bay, home to the best-known living stromatolites, Karijini National Park, with spectacular exposures of Banded Iron Formation linked to the oxygenation of the atmosphere, and North Pole dome, home to some of the oldest evidence of life.

 

Tagging along with the Astrobiology Grand Tour organized by Malcolm Walter of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at UNSW, and teaming up with our VFT-making colleagues Ariel Anbar, Geoffrey Bruce, Lev Horodyskyj, and Jessica Swann from ASU, we returned with 13 location-based sphericals for that “Google street view” pan-around-360˚ experience, 4 gigapans, 277 video clips and well over 2000 images.

As an exciting first this year (the Summons lab has been working on the development of these VFTs for several years), Geoffrey Bruce brought a video-camera-equipped quad copter (think: drone), capturing a dramatic new perspective—from high up in the sky—at sites like the stromatolites in Shark Bay and fly-throughs of Dales Gorge at Karijini National Park.

1 October 2013

The Summons Lab goes to Tenerife

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A majority of Summons lab members traveled to the island of Tenerife, Spain last week to attend the 26th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (IMOG 2013). Posters and presentations delivered included:

  • Recent graduate Sara Lincoln on DISENTANGLING MARINE PLANKTONIC ARCHAEAL COMMUNITIES AND THEIR MEMBRANE LIPID ASSEMBLAGES,
  • Roger Summons on THE BIOGEOCHEMISTRY OF OOIDS AND OOLITES,
  • Julio Sepúlveda on VERTICAL AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF INTACT AND CORE ARCHAEAL LIPIDS IN RESPONSE TO OXYGENATION GRADIENTS,
  • Kate French on ASSESSING THE DISTRIBUTION OF CAROTENOIDS THROUGH TIME USING TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY,
  • Sharon Newman on ETHER LIPID ASSESSMENT AT THE SEMAIL OPHIOLITE, OMAN: MICROBIAL DIVERSITY IN A SERPENTINITE-HOSTED ECOSYSTEM,
  • Florence Schubotz on the INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS ON MICROBIAL MEMBRANE LIPID DISTRIBUTION AT HOT SPRINGS IN YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK as well as (!) BACTERIAL SOURCES FOR BETAINE LIPIDS IN ANOXIC MARINE SEDIMENTS,
  • Emily Matys on BACTERIOHOPANEPOLYOLS IN OCEAN WATERS SUBJECT TO OXYGENATION GRADIENTS,
  • Ross Williams on COMBINED BACTERIAL MEMBRANE LIPID AND COMPOUND-SPECIFIC ISOTOPIC INVESTIGATION OF EOCENE ARCTIC PALEOSOLS.
14 November 2011

Now on YouTube: What is a GC-MS?

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In this video, MIT’s Dr. Christian Hallman explains what a GC-MS (gas chromatograph mass spectrometer) is and what it does. Watch the complete set of videos here.

3 June 2011