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.
GEOL 1180 - Our Microbial Planet
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 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
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.