Current Research in EEPS: Dr. Clara Chan, University of Delaware
Microbes rust the Earth: how iron-oxidizing bacteria thrive and drive biogeochemical cycles
Fe(II)-oxidizing microorganisms (FeOM) gain energy by Fe(II) oxidation, in the process fixing carbon, cycling nitrogen, and forming highly reactive Fe(III) oxyhydroxides that strongly bind phosphate, metals, and organic carbon. To unravel the environmental influence of FeOM, we have integrated field studies with culture, ‘omic, and biochemical investigations. I will discuss what we’ve learned about the mechanisms of FeOM, including biochemistry and meta-omics of FeOM at the Loihi seamount hydrothermal vents in Hawaii. I will also talk about how Fe-oxidizing microbes drive nutrient cycles and how we can FeOM can help with metal remediation and resource recovery.