All posts by biogeochem

NE GSA 2016 session on Organic Geochemistry

Going to NE GSA 2016? Please consider submitting an abstract to session T22: Organic Geochemistry in the Geosciences. We particularly welcome abstracts from students and postdocs!

Description: Organic geochemical techniques are widely utilized in the geosciences to investigate outstanding questions in a variety of disciplines including biogeochemistry, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, paleolimnology, hydrogeology, petroleum geochemistry, archaeology, geomicrobiology, and forensic science. This session welcomes all studies using organic geochemical or compound-specific isotopic techniques. Studies focusing on method and proxy development are also welcome.

Paleoclimatology and Archaeology at JESIUM 2016 meeting

Marcel van der Meer (Royal NIOZ) and Isla Castañeda (UMass) are co-chairing the Paleoclimatology and Archaeology session of the Joint European Stable Isotope Users Meeting (JESIUM 2016) held in the beautiful city of Ghent, Belgium, in September 2016. The call for abstracts opens on December 1st 2015 with a deadline of February 29th 2016. For more information check out the JESIUM 2016 website ( We are looking forward to reading your abstracts and hope to see you in September in Ghent!

Summer Salad Pie

It all started when the Summer Salad Pie recipe made its rounds on social media a while ago… See recipe #1 here:

At our annual lab holiday party where joke gifts are exchanged, one of the “gifts” contained all of the necessary ingredients to make Summer Salad Pie along with a copy of the recipe. It contained lemon jello, tuna salad, olives, tomato sauce, onion and Tabasco sauce, among other ingredients. PhD student Dan Miller was the recipient of this wonderful gift. Today at our end of the semester lab picnic, Dan showed off his cooking skills & brought in a freshly baked summer salad pie. Its taste was described as “an explosion of flavors, and not in a good way”.

Summer Salad Pie – a biogeochemistry experiment gone wrong? Lemon jello, tuna salad, olives, tomato sauce, a cheese crust… what could be more delicious?
Summer salad pie pictured here without the tuna salad topping (note the abundance of olives floating in the tomato sauce and lemon jello mixture). As the summer salad pie sat out in the sun, the lemon jello began to melt making it look even more appetizing…

GDGT Workshop 2014

The UMass Biogeochem lab sports Dutch lab clogs during the nanoSIMS laboratory tour at Utrecht University.
The UMass Biogeochem lab sports Dutch lab clogs during the nanoSIMS laboratory tour at Utrecht University.

Several members of the UMass Biogeochem lab just returned from a fantastic trip to the Netherlands to attend the GDGT 2014 workshop at NIOZ. In addition to a great conference, we enjoyed a private tour of the organic geochemistry and nanoSIMS laboratories at Utrecht University, which were very impressive!

The Biogeochem Lab is headed to NE GSA!

Going to the NE GSA 2014 meeting in Lancaster, PA? Check out the following presentations by the UMass Biogeochem Lab:

A 3.6 Ma Temperature Record from Lake El’gygytgyn, Russia based on Organic Biomarkers by Helen Habicht et al., Session No. 45, Booth# 57, Monday, 24 March 2014: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM.

Reconstructing Lake Pliocene Environmental Change at Lake El’gygytgyn, Arctic Northeast Russia by Ben Keisling et al., Session No. 45, Booth# 58, Monday, 24 March 2014: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM.

Confirmation of the use of FTIR spectroscopy to determine biogenic silica content of Arctic lake sediments: a powerful tool for high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions by Greg de Wet, Session No. 5, 10:40 AM.

Paleotemperature Reconstructions from Lake El’gygytgyn (Far East Russia) based on Branched GDGTs by Isla Castañeda et al., Session No. 5, Sunday, 23 March 2014: 10:00 AM.