KARINA K. SAND
LEKTOR / ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
MOLECULAR GEOBIOLOGY GROUP
I am an experimentalist with a geology and geochemistry background. In my group we apply in-situ molecular- to macro scale techniques to study bio-mineral associations. Interactions between organic molecules and mineral surfaces are vital for many forms of life and essential for both organizing shell structures and for anchoring an organism to a substrate. Bio-mineral interactions can also reveal traces of past life and be controlling for large and smaller scale mineralization and have a significant influence on element cycles. Additionally, such interactions could have enhanced the RNA polymerization needed for the origin of life. Recently I have found evidence to support that interactions between DNA and minerals could have a significant contribution to the evolution of life and propagation of antibiotic resistance genes through mineral facilitated horizontal gene transfer.
In my group we are working with microbes, biomolecules (polysaccharides, DNA, EPS, proteins), model molecules (thiol chemistry, peptoids) and a range of different minerals (clays, CaCO3, iron oxides, quartz...). The projects below outline our scope and approaches.