Dianne K. Newman


My laboratory investigates how bacteria have shaped, and continue to shape, the chemistry of their environment. Specifically, we take an interdisciplinary approach to studying the molecular mechanisms that underlie microbial formation and/or dissolution of minerals. By understanding the way extant organisms function at the molecular level, we hope eventually to gain insights into the evolution of ancient metabolic and biomineralization pathways, interpret the chemical signatures of early life found in the geologic record, and quantitate/control the contribution of microbes to present-day geochemical cycles.

Caltech offers those interested in molecular geomicrobiology a truly unique environment in which to pursue this subject. For example, resources within the divisions of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS), Biology, and Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) include: state-of-the-art microscopes (Confocal, TEM, Environmental SEM, with elemental analysis), DNA/protein sequencing and synthesis, HPLC-Mass Spec, and a variety of other facilities in the Beckman Institute and the nearby Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Students interested in studying molecular geobiology at Caltech may be admitted through GPS, Biology or ESE, depending on their background and interests.

For more information about my work and/or molecular geobiology at Caltech, check our GROUP WEBSITE.


Professor of Geobiology

2. The physiological functions of redox active “secondary” metabolites (focusing on phenazine “antibiotics” produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, an opportunistic pathogen that colonizes the lungs of individuals with the disease cystic fibrosis).

Newman Lab

Biology Page 

More about me

Research Statement