Course Meeting Times
Lectures: 1 session / week, 1.5 hours / session
Permission of instructor
This course is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current research around sulfur biogeochemistry and astrobiology. During the regular class session, we will analyze two to three papers in a discussion-based format. Each class will conclude with a brief outline of the following week’s class introduced by the instructors, or at the beginning of the class for sessions lead by guest lecturers.
- Origin of mass-dependent, mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionation
- Global sulfur cycles, past and present
- Role of sulfur in organic diagenesis, and petroleum generation
- Sulfur isotope biosignatures in early Earth rocks and Martian meteorites
- Diagnostic lipids for sulfidic oceans
- Molecular biology of sulfur metabolisms
- Sulfur isotope record and the early Earth’s atmosphere
- Dimethylsulfides and other atmospheric sulfur gases
Textbook and General Readings
Brimblecombe, P. “The Global Sulfur Cycle.” Treatise on Geochemistry 8 (2003): 645-682.
Canfield, D. E. “Biogeochemistry of Sulfur Isotopes.” Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 43 (2001): 609-636.
Ohmoto, H., and M. B. Goldhaber. “Sulfur and Carbon Isotopes.” In Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Ore Deposits. Edited by H. L. Barnes. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. ISBN: 9780471571445.
|1||Introductory remarks: course structure and content|
|2-3||Calculation of equilibrium mass-dependent isotope effects|
|4||Sulfur and oxygen isotope fractionation in biological systems|
|5||Sulfidic ocean: evidence and implications|
|7||Diagnostic lipids for ocean euxinia|
|8||Dimethylsulfides and atmospheric sulfur cycle|
|9||Discussion topic selected by participants|
|10||Molecular biology of sulfur|
|11||Discussion topic selected by participants|
|12||Organic sulfur and preservation of lipid biomarkers|
|13||Discussion about selected topics|
One term paper for a selected subject will be required for 50% of the credit, and the remaining 50% will be based upon the basis of contribution to the discussion session.