Joint Seminar for Chemistry, Geology and Biology

Friday, November 9 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

A. Paul Schaap Science Center, Auditorium 1019
35 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423-3605

Dr. Ziming Yang Oakland University: Organic Carbon Transformations in Extreme Environments

Abstract: Organic carbon transformations play important roles in Earth’s geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere, but how these transformations occur in extreme environments, such as Arctic permafrost and deep ocean hydrothermal vents, are still poorly understood. In the first part of the talk, I will present some of our studies on tundra soil organic carbon degradation under climate warming. I will include results from both geochemical and microbial analysis through an Arctic soil incubation study. In the latter half of the talk, I will shift ears to organic-mineral interactions in deep ocean hydrothermal systems. Hydrothermal transformations of organic carbon influence many geological and biological processes, such as petroleum degradation, deep carbon cycle, and metabolisms in the deep ocean biosphere. I will present some of our recent findings on the pathways and mechanisms of several mineral-promoted hydrothermal organic reactions, and also talk about the ways how to identify the roles of minerals in these hydrothermal processes.

Biography: Dr. Yang received a B.S. in chemistry from Qingdao University in 2008, a M.S. and a PhD in geochemistry from Arizona State University in 2011 and 2014, respectively. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 2014 to 2016. He is now working as an assistant professor in the chemistry department at Oakland University.

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