Postdoctoral Associate

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Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
E54-1025, 77 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139



2020-present — Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
2017-2019 — Agouron Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
2016-2020 – Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
2009-2016 – Ph.D., Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California-Davis
2009-2012 – M.S., Geology Department, University of California-Davis
2004-2008 – B.A., Geology Department, Carleton College

Tyler uses the tools of sedimentology to understand what evidence of microbial communities can enter the rock record, how we recognize these deposits, and what sorts of observations in modern microbial ecosystems can provide useful search patterns to bring back to the rock record. The majority of Earth history is microbial, so these sediments serve as a window to key evolutionary transitions and changes in habitats through time. Current research projects integrate field studies and laboratory analysis to explore microbial habitats of modern ice-covered Antarctic lakes and assess Neoproterozoic (1000–541 million years ago) environments surrounding the expansion of complex life.

Tyler received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, where his work focused on microbial communities of ice-covered lakes in Antarctica. He will be starting as an Assistant Professor in the University of New Mexico Earth and Planetary Sciences Department in Fall 2020.

Select Publications

Grettenberger, CL, Sumner, DY, Wall, K, Brown, CT, Eisen, J, Mackey, TJ, Hawes, I, Jungblut, AD (2020) Insights into the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis from a phylogenetically novel, low-light cyanobacterium. ISME.

Dillon, M,  Hawes, I, Jungblut, A, Mackey, TJ, Eisen, J, Doran, P, Sumner, DY (2020) Energetic and Environmental Constraints on the Community Structure of Benthic Microbial Mats in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica. FEMS.

Matys, ED, Mackey, TJ, Grettenberger, C, Mueller, E, Jungblut, A, Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Summons, RE (in press)Environmental controls on bacteriohopanepolyol profiles of benthic microbial mats from Lake Fryxell, Antarctica. Geobiology.

Matys, ED, Mackey, TJ, Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Grettenberger, C, Mueller, E, Summons, RE (2019)Bacteriohopanepolyols across environmental gradients in Lake Vanda, Antarctica. Geobiology. 17(3): 308-3019. DOI:10.1111/gbi.12335

Rivera-Hernandez, F, Sumner, DY, Mackey, TJ, Hawes, I, Andersen, DT (2019) In a PICL: The sedimentary deposits and facies of perennially ice-covered lakes. Sedimentology. 66(3): 917-939. DOI:10.1111/sed.12522

Bergmann, KD, Al Balushi, SAK, Mackey, TJ, Grotzinger, JP, Eiler, JM (2018) A 600 million year carbonate clumped isotopic record from Oman. Journal of Sedimentary Research. 88(8): 960-979. DOI:10.2110/jsr.2018.51

Mackey, TJ, Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Leidman, S, Andersen, DT, Jungblut, AD (2018) Stromatolite records of changing primary productivity in perennially ice-covered Lake Joyce, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Biogeochemistry. 137(1-2): 73-92 DOI:10.1007/s10533-017-0402-1

Mackey, TJ, Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Jungblut, AD (2017) Morphological signatures of microbial activity across depositional microenvironments of Lake Vanda, Antarctica. Sedimentary Geology. 361: 82-92. DOI:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2017.09.013

Mackey, TJ, Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Jungblut, AD, Lawrence, J, Leidman, S, Allen, B (2017) Increased mud deposition reduces stromatolite complexity. Geology, 45: 663-666. DOI:10.1130/G38890.1

Jungblut, AD, Hawes, I, Mackey, TJ, Krusor, M, Doran, P, Sumner, DY, Eisen, J, Hillman, C, Goroncy, A (2016) Microbial mat communities along an oxygen gradient in a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(2): 620-630. DOI:10.1128/AEM.02699-15

Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Mackey, TJ, Jungblut, AD, Doran, P (2015) Antarctic microbial mats: A modern analog for Archean lacustrine oxygen oases. Geology, 43: 887-890. DOI:10.1130/G36966.1

Mackey, TJ, Sumner, DY, Hawes, I, Jungblut, AD, Andersen, DT, (2015) Growth of modern branched columnar stromatolites in Lake Joyce, Antarctica. Geobiology, 13: 373-390. DOI:10.1111/gbi.12138

Hawes, I, Sumner, DY, Andersen, DT, and Mackey, TJ (2011) Legacies of recent environmental change in the benthic communities of Lake Joyce, a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake. Geobiology, 9: 394-410. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4669.2011.00289.x