How Microbes Promote Fossilization and Become Fossilized
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) Bahcall Auditorium 3700 San Martin Drive Baltimore, MD 21218
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Tanja Bosak (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
How to recognize signs of life in past sediments from Earth or other planets? Sedimentary record from the first 80% of Earth’s history preserves signatures of microbial life, but these biosignatures can often be difficult to recognize or interpret. Specifically, it is often unclear to what extent microbial metabolisms and microbial interactions with minerals and sediments promote fossilization in siliciclastic sediments. This talk will highlight some questions that arise from the record on the early Earth and address them by taphonomic experiments. The utility of these insights will be also discussed in the context of the search for life on early Mars.