Introduction to Geomicrobiology is a timely and comprehensive overview of how microbial life has affected Earth s environment through time. It shows how the ubiquity of microorganisms, their high chemical reactivity, and their metabolic diversity make them a significant factor controlling the chemical composition of our planet.
The following topics are covered:
how microorganisms are classified, the physical constraints governing their growth, molecular approaches to studying microbial diversity, and life in extreme environments
bioenergetics, microbial metabolic capabilities, and major biogeochemical pathways
chemical reactivity of the cell surface, metal sorption, and the microbial role in contaminant mobility and bioremediation/biorecovery
microbiological mineral formation and fossilization
the function of microorganisms in mineral dissolution and oxidation, and the industrial and environmental ramifications of these processes
elemental cycling in biofilms, formation of microbialites, and sediment diagenesis
the events that led to the emergence of life, evolution of metabolic processes, and the diversification of the biosphere.
Artwork from the book is available to instructors at www.blackwellpublishing.com/konhauser.
Kurt Konhauser is a Canada Research Chair in Geomicrobiology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. He is also Editor-in-Chief for Geobiology. His current research interests include the role of bacteria in modern mineral precipitation, and how those same processes may have contributed to the preservation of early life forms and the formation of Precambrian banded iron formations.
Preface. 1. Microbial properties and diversity. 2. Microbial metabolism. 3. Cell surface reactivity and metal sorption. 4. Biomineralization. 5. Microbial weathering. 6. Microbial zonation. 7. Early microbial life. References. Index