Research Overview


We conduct experiments to unravel the fundamental microbiological and environmental (physicochemical) controls that drive Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Much of our experimental infrastructure is custom designed/built to our applications.  

On-going Projects

Bulk C and H isotopic fractionations during methane production by C-P lyase.

  • Led by: L. Taenzer (M.S. student) & W. Leavitt (PI)

  • Collaborators: P. Carini (ASU), A. Masterson (Northwestern)

  • Funding: Dartmouth Vice Provost for Research SEED

Clumped isotope signals of methane from non-traditional sources.​

  • Led by: W. Leavitt (PI) & L. Taenzer (M.S. student)

  • Collaborators: D. Rumble III (Carnegie), E. Young & J. Labidi (UCLA)

  • Funding: Dartmouth Vice-provost for Research

The H-isotopic compositions of thermoacidophile GDGTs in response to energy and the environment. 

  • Led by: W. Leavitt (PI), Y. Weber & A. Pearson (Harvard)

  • Collaborators: S. Kopf (CU Boulder), A. Zhou (Dartmouth), & F. Elling (Harvard)

  • Funding: American Chemical Society

Thermoacidophile GDGT variance as a function of energy availability. 

  • Led by: A. Zhou (M.S. student), A. Cobban (Undergrad), W. Leavitt (PI)

  • Collaborators: E. Boyd & M .Amenabar (Montana State Univ.), A. Pearson, F. Elling & Y. Weber (Harvard)

  • Funding: American Chemical Society, Dartmouth College


Mechanisms of GDGT cyclization in Sulfolobus islandicus.

  • Led by: B. Chiu (Research Asst./Lab Mgr.), A. Zhou (M.S. Student), W. Leavitt (PI)

  • Collaborators: C. Zhang & R. Whitaker (Univ. Illinois), A. Pearson, F. Elling & Y. Weber (Harvard)

  • Funding: Dartmouth College, NASA_NAI, DOE-JGI CSP

Present Funding

Burke Award
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