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Dominic Papineau

Dominic Papineau' research projects are focused on the Paleoproterozoic phosphorus and nitrogen cycles, biosignatures in banded iron formations and the step-wise rise of atmospheric oxygen. He is a geochemist and postdoctoral research fellow interested in the early evolution of life and biogeochemical cycles and in biological signatures in Precambrian sedimentary rocks.

The overarching goal of his research is to elucidate the evolutionary connections between the atmosphere, oceans, climate, tectonics and life. His work also contributes to the development of biogeochemical approaches to search for a record of life on other planets. Dominic has field experience in remote Precambrian terrains from around the world including Greenland, Rajasthan (India), South Africa, northern Finland, Western Australia, northern Québec and Antarctica. Upon return to the Geophysical Lab, he prepares rock samples to perform in situ analyses on polished thin sections, rock slabs and micro-drilled powders with a variety of state-of-the-art instruments including mass spectrometers (IRMS, TIMS and ICPMS), electron beam instruments (EPMA, SEM and TEM), ion beam techniques (nanoSIMS, ims1270 and FIB) and spectroscopy (Raman, FTIR and STXM).

Dominic received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006.

Recent Publications

Papineau, D., DeGregorio, B.T., Cody, G.D., Fries, M.D., Mojzsis, S.J., Steele, A., Stroud, R.M., and Fogel, M.L. (2010) Ancient graphite in the Eoarchean quartz-pyroxene rock from Akilia in southwest Greenland I: Petrographic and spectroscopic characterization. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 5862-5883.

Papineau, D., DeGregorio, B.T., Stroud, R.M., Steele, A., Pecoits, E., Konhauser, K., Wang, J., and Fogel, M.L. (2010) Ancient graphite in the Eoarchean quartz-pyroxene rock from Akilia in southern West Greenland II: Isotopic and chemical compositions and comparison with Paleoproterozoic banded iron formations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 5884-5905.

Papineau, D. (2010) Mineral environments on the earliest Earth. Elements 6, 25-30.

Papineau, D. (2010) Global biogeochemical changes at both ends of the Proterozoic: Insights from Paleoproterozoic phosphorites. Astrobiology 10, 165-181 (with cover photograph for the issue).

Hazen, R.M. and Papineau, D. (accepted for publication in Fundamentals of Geobiology, Eds. A.H. Knoll, K.O. Konhauser & D.E. Canfield) Mineralogical co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres. 47p.

Papineau, D., Purohit, Goldberg, T., Pi, D., Shields, G., Bhu, H.R., Steele, A., and Fogel, M.L. (2009) High productivity and nitrogen cycling after the Paleoproterozoic phosphogenic event in the Aravalli Supergroup, India. Precambrian Research 171, 37-56.

Konhauser, K.O., Pecoits, E., Lalonde, S.V., Papineau, D., Nisbet, E.G., Barley, M.E., Arndt, N.T., Zahnle, K. and Kamber, B.S. (2009) Oceanic Nickel depletion and a methanogen famine before the Great Oxidation Event. Nature 458, 750-753.

Hazen, R.M., Papineau, D., Bleeker, W., Downs, R.T., Ferry, J.M., McCoy, T.J., Sverjensky, D., and Yang, H. (2008) Mineral evolution. American Mineralogist 93, 1693-1720.

Papineau, D., Mojzsis, S.J. and Schmitt, A.K. (2007) Multiple sulfur isotopes from Paleoproterozoic Huronian interglacial sediments and the rise of atmospheric oxygen. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 255, 188-212.

Papineau, D. and Mojzsis, S.J. (2006) Mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in sulfides from the pre-3770 Ma Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland. Geobiology 4, 227-238.

Papineau, D., Mojzsis, S.J., Coath, C.D., Karhu, J.A. and McKeegan, K.D. (2005) Multiple sulfur isotopes of sulfides from sediments in the aftermath of Paleoproterozoic glaciations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69, 5033-5060.

Papineau, D., Walker, J.J., Mojzsis, S.J. and Pace, N.R. (2005) Composition and structure of microbial communities from stromatolites of Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71, 4822-4832.

Papineau, D., Mojzsis, S.J., Karhu, J.A. and Marty, B. (2005) Nitrogen isotopic composition of ammoniated phyllosilicates: Case studies from Precambrian metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. Chemical Geology 216, 37-58.