Microbial S isotope fractionation on organosulfonates - EPSC 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Boswell Wing

Supervisor's Email: boswell.wing [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514 398 6772

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Earth and Planetary Sciences

Course number: EPSC 396 (Earth and Planetary Science)

Term: Winter 2013-2014

Project start date: Monday, January 6, 2014

Project end date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Project title: Microbial S isotope fractionation on organosulfonates

Project description (50-100 words suggested): The primary electron acceptor for sulfate-reducing microbes on early Earth is not well constrained.  Extrapolation of the biogeochemistry of modern environments leads to the expectation that this role was filled by the sulfate dianion, but models of the S cycle on early Earth suggest that atmospherically derived organosulfonates may have played a role.  During this project, the student will (1) attempt to grow strains of sulfate-reducing bacteria using a simple organosulfonate (isethionate) as an electron acceptor and (2) assay the S isotope fractionation the accompanies this growth.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final grade will be based on laboratory performance as evaluated by the research supervisor (50%) and the final written research report (50%)

Project status: This project is taken; however students may contact the professor to discuss other possible '396' projects this term.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves handling chemicals.