Julie Cosmidis

Research Interests

Our research focuses on different aspects of microbe-mineral interactions, and more specifically microbial biomineralization. Biomineralization is one of the mechanisms by which microorganisms impact their environment, and it is increasingly regarded as an important driving force in the chemical, geological and biological evolution of Earth throughout its history. We are focusing on deciphering the molecular mechanisms involved in microbial biomineralization, understanding its impact on past and present environments (biogeochemical cycles), and using it as a tool for tracing microbial activity in the geological record and on other planets (biosignatures). We also work on developing industrial applications for biomaterials and microbial processes such as bioremediation of polluted waters and resource recovery. The methods we use include: laboratory cultures, field sampling, geochemical characterization (spectrophotometric methods), and mineral sample characterization using different analytical methods such as light and electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), different types of spectroscopy (Raman, FTIR), and synchrotron-based X-ray methods (XANES, EXAFS, STXM). Prospective students interested in any of these aspects are invited to contact me to discuss specific projects.

Qualifications and Experience

Experience in leading a research group and supervising DPhil students. Teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  Currently supervising 2 NERC DTP DPhil students.

Personal Research Keywords

Geomicrobiology, biomineralization, microbe-mineral interactions, biosignatures