Rachel L. Harris

Graduate Student
Geomicrobiology Research Group
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
B80 Guyot Hall, Lab - B87 Guyot Hall

Title: Graduate Student

Group: Geomicrobiology Research Group

Area(s): Geochemistry, Geomicrobiology, Biogeochemistry

Research Summary: I am a Ph.D. candidate under Dr. Tullis C. Onstott in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. My research interests include investigating the evolutionary history and functional diversity of active but rare microbial players in biogeochemical cycling, with special emphasis on applications to early evolution and habitability on early Earth and Mars Special Regions. My doctoral research focuses on coupling a novel fluorescent in situ hybridization method (FISH-TAMB) with metatranscriptomics, metagenomics, and stable isotope geochemistry to elucidate and characterize the contributions of rare biosphere methanogens and anaerobic methanotrophs (ANMEs) inhabiting extreme temperature and pressure regimes as a means to further resolve the limits of habitability for terrestrial life. I have extensive field and bench experience collecting, characterizing, and analyzing metabolites of extremophiles from a variety of reducing environments including hydrothermal features, oligotrophic marine and deep sub-seafloor sediments, and saline fracture fluids in the deep terrestrial subsurface. 

Keywords: geomicrobiology, biogeochemistry, extremophiles, methane cycling, astrobiology