Geomicrobiology Research at Appalachian State University

The presence of manganese oxide minerals on the surface of the Earth often indicates the presence of manganese oxidizing microbes.  These black mineral deposits are found coating the surfaces of rocks in places such as deserts, streams, springs, and caves. Interdisciplinary geomicrobiology research at Appalachian State University by Dr. Suzanna Bräuer (Biology), Dr. Sarah Carmichael (Geological and Environmental Sciences) attempts to understand the complex relationships between microbes and rocks, and the role of microbes in the cycling of manganese both in the present and throughout deep time.

Our work explores manganese cycling in caves in the southern Appalachians, manganese biomineralization in wetlands and acid mine drainage sites, as well as manganese ore deposits throughout the region.



Our research has been funded by the National Science FoundationNC Space GrantAppalachian State University, Cave Research Foundation, Geological Society of America, and a variety of other organizations.