William D. Leavitt
Assistant Professor of Earth Science
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Microbes are central players in Earths’ elemental cycles. Microbial cells, enzymes and reactive intermediates drive the biogeochemical cycles on our planet by supporting the establishment and persistence of chemical gradients, reaction networks and ecosystems. The research in my group centers on experiments designed to reveal the fundamental microbiological and environmental (physicochemical) controls that drive Earths' biogeochemical cycles. Using observations from stable isotope geochemistry, biochemistry and microbial physiology we work to constrain fluxes and transformation rates within a subset of elemental cycles central to life on Earth (C, H, O, N, S, P). To address these challenges we utilize state-of-the art tools — including stable isotope and organic geochemistry, in vitro enzymology, and the continuous cultivation and manipulation of aerobic and anaerobic microbes. Much of our experimental infrastructure is custom designed/built to our applications. My research involves training and working closely with undergraduate and graduate students alike. Their recruitment to and involvement in running lab- and field-based projects, as well as the preparation of manuscripts and presentations at national and international meetings, is critical to the success of our research.
Recruiting: I am currently looking for bright, enthusiastic, self-motivated graduate students at both the Masters and PhD levels to work in the Microbial Geochemistry & Geomicrobiology Group, here in beautiful Hanover, New Hampshire. An undergraduate background and demonstrated independent research experience in one of the following areas is preferred: geomicrobiology, microbial geochemistry, environmental microbiology, low temperature geochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, analytical chemistry, microbial physiology, astrobiology, environmental engineering, and/or earth sciences. Rigorous prior laboratory experience is requisite. For students applying at the PhD level, a Masters degree or equivalent work experience is preferred.
Please contact me (William.D.Leavitt at dartmouth dot edu) if you are interested in joining the group!