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Kopf, Sebastian H Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Dr. Kopf's research is focused on uncovering how microorganisms grow in their natural habitats and how they produce various types of biomarkers - traces of life that are preserved in the environment for millions and sometimes billions of years. Understanding the origin and purpose of these biological signatures enables us to better reconstruct past environments and helps predict how microbial life will respond to future change.

keywords

  • geomicrobiology, stable isotope geochemistry, organic geochemistry, microbial physiology & genetics, aquatic chemistry, biogeochemical cycling

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • ENVS 4185 - Geomicrobiology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Examines how microbial and chemical processes interact on the Earth's surface today and have shaped the planet throughout its history. Emphasis will be placed on how the life styles and chemical ingenuity of microorganisms drive key biogeochemical processes including weathering and transformations of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, iron and nitrogen. Towards this goal, major geologic and evolutionary events will be examined through the lens of microbial diversity, metabolic energetics, microbe-mineral interactions, and molecular biomarkers. Recommended prerequisites: GEOL 1180 or MCDB 1150 or GEOL 3320 or EBIO 3400 or ENVS 4160 or EVEN 4484. Same as GEOL 5185, GEOL 4185, and MCDB 4185.
  • GEOL 1180 - Our Microbial Planet
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2020
    Examines how microorganisms shape the world around us, both throughout the Earth's history and today. Major topics include the origin and evolution of life, the interplay between microbes and the environment, roles of microbes in global change, and applications of microbiology in biotechnology and energy.
  • GEOL 4185 - Geomicrobiology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Examines how microbial and chemical processes interact on the Earth's surface today and have shaped the planet throughout its history. Emphasis will be placed on how the life styles and chemical ingenuity of microorganisms drive key biogeochemical processes including weathering and transformations of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, iron and nitrogen. Towards this goal, major geologic and evolutionary events will be examined through the lens of microbial diversity, metabolic energetics, microbe-mineral interactions, and molecular biomarkers. Recommended prerequisites: GEOL 1180 or MCDB 1150 or GEOL 3320 or EBIO 3400 or ENVS 4160 or EVEN 4484. Same as GEOL 5185, ENVS 4185, and MCDB 4185.
  • GEOL 5042 - Computational Tools in Geosciences
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Scientific research and teaching in geological sciences and related disciplines relies increasingly on computational tools. This class aims to introduce graduate students in the geological, geophysical and biogeochemical sciences to a wide range of commonly used concepts and open source data tools to empower them to find the right tool for their computational needs in research and teaching. Previously offered as a special topics course. Recommended prerequisite: Prior experience with at least one programming language is recommended.
  • GEOL 5185 - Geomicrobiology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Examines how microbial and chemical processes interact on the Earth's surface today and have shaped the planet throughout its history. Emphasis will be placed on how the life styles and chemical ingenuity of microorganisms drive key biogeochemical processes including weathering and transformations of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, iron and nitrogen. Towards this goal, major geologic and evolutionary events will be examined through the lens of microbial diversity, metabolic energetics, microbe-mineral interactions, and molecular biomarkers. Same as GEOL 4185, ENVS 4185, and MCDB 4185.
  • GEOL 5253 - Stable Isotope Fractionation in Biogeochemical Processes
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Investigates the origins of stable isotope fractionation in geochemical systems with special emphasis on the role of biological catalysts as key drivers of isotopic effects during biogeochemical transformations. The class will cover a wide range of topics relevant to isotope fractionation including partition functions, diffusional, enzymatic and equilibrium isotope effects, open and closed system behavior, Rayleigh distillation, reservoir effects, enzymatic catalysis, physiological drivers and signal preservation. Recommended prerequisites: MATH 1300 or APPM 1350.
  • GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018
    Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.
  • MCDB 4185 - Geomicrobiology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Examines how microbial and chemical processes interact on the Earth's surface today and have shaped the planet throughout its history. Emphasis will be placed on how the life styles and chemical ingenuity of microorganisms drive key biogeochemical processes including weathering and transformations of carbon, oxygen, sulfur, iron and nitrogen. Towards this goal, major geologic and evolutionary events will be examined through the lens of microbial diversity, metabolic energetics, microbe-mineral interactions, and molecular biomarkers. Recommended prerequisites: GEOL 1180 or MCDB 1150 or GEOL 3320 or EBIO 3400 or ENVS 4160 or EVEN 4484. Same as GEOL 5185, ENVS 4185, and GEOL 4185.

Background

International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)

Other Profiles