My research group uses the structure, abundance, and stable isotope composition of organic molecules to solve a range of problems in Earth and Environmental Sciences. We work on everything from modern oceans, soils, plants and bacteria, to 3 billion year-old rocks. Our speciality lies in finding new ways to measure the abundance of stable isotopes in these organic molecules, and applying those new measurement techniques to study questions that range from microbial ecology to carbon cycling to paleoenvironment to the origins of earliest life on Earth. Some of our Current research projects are described here. This work is variously described as organic geochemistry, geobiology, or biogeochemistry.
I am a Professor of Geobiology in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech, and am affiliated with the geobiology, geochemistry, and environmental science academic options. I serve as the option representative for geobiology. I currently teach three courses: Organic Geochemistry (Ge 143), Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Ge 145), and Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry (Ge 146). Ge-143 and 145 are taught in the fall in alternate years (2015 is Ge-145), 146 is in the spring term. I also teach in the Agouron International Geobiology Course during the summers, and highly recommend it.
My research group currently consists of a lab manager, 4 postdocs, and 2 PhD students. You can see their smiling faces here. If you are interested in coming to work with me as a student or postdoc, please email.
John Eiler and I recently formed a company called Isotomics to commercialize the application of clumped-isotope measurements in organic molecules. So far its just a website...