Massachusetts Institute of Technology
E25-653, 45 Carleton Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
2014-present – Irish Research Council/Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT and University College Dublin
2013-2014 – Postdoctoral Researcher, DCU/Queen’s University Belfast
2009-2013 – PhD, Dublin City University, Dublin
2005-2009 – BSc, Dublin City University, Dublin
My research interests involve the application of molecular biomarkers and nucleic acid based approaches to study natural microbial processes and cycles in the environment. In particular, I am focused on modern and ancient microbialites and the preservation of organic matter in carbonates. One project I am focused on is the investigation of ooid grains. Ooids are accretionary layered carbonate grains that occur in the geologic record as far back as the Archean and can still be found in restricted locations on Earth today. I am investigating how these peculiar grains form and what geochemical and geobiological information is preserved within their cortex. This project will provide important insight into how these grains form today and in the past and whether microbes are involved.
This Fellowship is in collaboration with Prof. Frank McDermott in the National Centre for Isotope Geochemistry in University College Dublin.
Marine expeditions and field trips
2016 Agouron Institute Geobiology Field Trip, Ambergris Quay, Turks and Caicos Islands
2014 INFOMAR GATEWAYS 2 cruise (CE14_03), RV Celtic Explorer, Celtic Sea
2012 EUROFLEETS AmSedIS cruise (CV12_07), RV Celtic Voyager, Irish Sea
2011 INFOMAR cruise (CE11_017), RV Celtic Explorer, Porcupine Bank
2010 INFOMAR cruise (CV10_28) – RV Celtic Voyager, Irish Sea
- O’Reilly, S.S., Mariotti, G., Winter, A.R., Newman, S.A., Matys, E.D., McDermott, F., Pruss, S.B., Bosak, T., Summons, R.E. and Klepac‐Ceraj, V., 2017. Molecular biosignatures reveal common benthic microbial sources of organic matter in ooids and grapestones from Pigeon Cay, The Bahamas. Geobiology, 15, 112-130
- Wilhelm, M.B., Davila, A.F., Eigenbrode, J.L., Parenteau, M.N., Jahnke, L.L., Liu, X.L., Summons, R.E., Wray, J.J., Stamos, B.N., O’Reilly, S.S., Williams, A., 2017. Xeropreservation of functionalized lipid biomarkers in hyperarid soils in the Atacama Desert. Organic Geochemistry, 103, 97-104
- Gold, D.A., O’Reilly, S.S., Luo, G., Briggs, D.E. and Summons, R.E., 2016. Prospects for sterane preservation in sponge fossils from museum collections and the utility of sponge biomarkers for molecular clocks. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 57, 181-189
- O’Reilly, S.S., Pentlavalli, P., Flanagan, P.V., Allen, C.C.R., Monteys, X., Szpak, M.T., Murphy, B.T., , Jordan S.F., Kelleher, B.P. 2016. Abundance and diversity of sedimentary bacterial communities in a coastal productive setting in the western Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research 113, 1-9.
- Murphy, B.T., O’Reilly, S.S., Monteys, X., Reid, B.F., Szpak, M.T., McCaul, M.V., Jordan, S.F., Allen, C.C. and Kelleher, B.P., 2016. The occurrence of PAHs and faecal sterols in Dublin Bay and their influence on sedimentary microbial communities. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 106, 215-224
- Szpak, M., Monteys, X., O’Reilly, S.S., Lilley, M.K.S., Scott, G.A., Hart, K.M., McCarron, S.G., Kelleher, B.P., 2015. Occurrence, characteristics, and formation mechanisms of methane generated micro-pockmarks in Dunmanus Bay, Ireland. Continental Shelf Research 103, 45-59.
- Van Landeghem, K.J.J., Niemann, H., Steinle, L.I., O’Reilly, S.S., Huws, D.G., Croker, P.F., 2015. Geological settings and seafloor morphodynamic evolution linked to methane seepage. Geo-Marine Letters 35, 289-304.
- O’Reilly, S.S., Hryniewicz, K., Little, C.T.S., Monteys, X., Szpak, M.T., Murphy, B.T., Jordan, S.F., Allen, C.C.R., Kelleher, B.P. 2014. Shallow water methane-derived authigenic carbonate mounds at the Codling Fault Zone, western Irish Sea. Marine Geology, 357, 139-150.
- O’Reilly, S.S., Szpak, M.T., Flanagan, P.V., Monteys, X., Murphy, B.T., Jordan, S.F., Allen, C.C.R., Simpson, A.J., Mulligan, S.M., Sandron, S., Kelleher, B.P. 2014. Biomarkers reveal the effects of hydrography on the sources and fate of marine and terrestrial organic matter in the western Irish Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 136, 157-171.
- O’ Reilly, S.S., Hurley, S., Coleman, N., Szpak, M.T., O’ Dwyer, T., Kelleher, B.P. 2012. Chemical and physical description of living and non-living maerl rhodoliths from Kingstown Bay, Galway, Ireland. Aquatic Biology 15, 205-214.
- Szpak, M.T., Monteys, X., O’ Reilly, S.S., Simpson, A.J., Garcia, X., Evans, R.L., Allen, C.C.R., McNally, D.J., Courtier-Murias, D., Kelleher, B.P. 2012. Geophysical and geochemical survey of a large marine pockmark on the Malin Shelf, Ireland. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 13, 1–18.