GROUP STATEMENT:

  • We work across disciplines which makes collaboration and communication essential.

  • We make time to play in the lab and test ideas.

  • We treat each other as peers and we welcome any interested students, postdocs, scholars or collaborators, regardless the branch of academic training.

  • I strive to have a group reflecting the diversity seen in society and I aim to help decrease the extra hurdles STEM women and minorities are facing compared to cis-male colleagues in this otherwise wonderful world of science.

  • We all have different ways of learning, we all bring different skills to the table and we all need different input to connect the dots. I am committed to create a learning space where everyone can participate.

MOLECULAR GEOBIOLOGY GROUP​

SANDLAB GROUP MEMBERS

Stanislav Jelavić

Post doc.

 

DNA-MINERAL-MICROBE INTERACTIONS

 

Stan  is working on DNA-mineral interactions focusing on  DNA-mineral binding and stability. He will also help the initiatives of exploring the  rate of gene uptake in microbes.

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging, SEM, EDX, XRD, IR-AFM, ss-ATR-FTIR, Dynamic force spectroscopy . 

Ioannis Kontopoulos

Post. doc

DNA IN SEDIMENTS

'Ioannis' research focuses on the preservation of DNA in sediments. He bridges across several length scales and combines molecular scale DNA-mineral interactions with DNA extractions and sediment sampling.

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging, SEM, EDX, XRD, IR-AFM, ss-ATR-FTIR, Dynamic force spectroscopy .

Jaime Quesada Sanz

Master  student

 

DNA-MINERAL STABILITY IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS

Jaime will be using atomic force microscopy to investigate the nano level interactions between DNA and minerals in a range of environmental solutions.  His results can be used to access DNA leaking in sediments and to improve extraction protecols for eDNA

 

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging, Video rate AFM and force spectroscopy.

Bia Fonseca

PhD student

 

PROTIN-WATER-MINERAL INTERACTIONS

Bia has a background in chemistry and heritage conservation  and is using computational and experimental approaches to understand the preservation potential of proteins across time in different environmental settings. Her focus is on collagen and beta lactoglobulin.

 

 

Approach and tools:

Molecular dynamics simulations, AFM imaging and video rate AFM.

Magnus August R Harding

Project Student​ (MSc)

DEGRADATION KINETICS OF MINERAL ADSORBED DNA BY DNase

Magnus has a background in geology and palaeontology, and is interested in understanding the processes taking place during fossilization and the fate of organic molecules as they enter the geosphere. Here he will elucidate the preservation potential of environmental DNA.

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging in air, in liquid and using video rate

Chloé Martins

Erasmus Student​

ROLE OF MINERALS IN THE ORIGIN OF LIFE

Chloé was suppose to join the group and do experimental work on propagation of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment. She planned to investigate conformation and behavior of DNA adsorbed to soil minerals. However, because of Covid-19 related lock-downs her project has been transformed to a literature study on the role of minerals in the origin of life. 

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging in air, in liquid and using video rate

Oluwatoosin Agbaje

Postdoc​

MOLECULES-MINERAL INTERACTIONS IN HISTORIC SAMPLES

Toosin has a background in organic-inorganic chemistry and biomineralization and will start his project in October. His research here will focuses on  preservation of  DNA and protein in calculus, ceramics, and other fossil samples. ‘Toosin’s expertise across several fields will help to reveal events of the past and in understanding biomolecules preservation across time and space.

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging, SEM, EDX, XRD, IR-AFM, ss-ATR-FTIR, Dynamic force spectroscopy.

Xi Chen

Master student

 

BIOFILMS

Many microbes rely on anchoring themselves to mineral surfaces where they make biofilms enhancing their survival and facilitate gene transfers. Xi will be using her chemistry background to explore the differences in affinities between microbes and minerals and address if there is an interdependence with environmental conditions

Approach and tools:

Flow through optical microscopy, AFM imaging, SEM, EDX, force spectroscopy.

RECENT GROUP MEMBERS

Léa Dieudonné

Erasmus student

 

DNA CONFORMATION

Léa has been looking into DNA conformation on different minerals and explore how we can manipulate the DNA-mineral interaction. 

Approach and tools:

AFM imaging and force spectroscopy.

Anne Rath Nielsen

PhD student

 

ARTIFICIAL NACRE

Composite materials are nature’s strategy for creating strong and tough materials. Anne aim to understand the mineralization dynamics of CaCO3 formation on synthetic bio-polymers to develop nacre analog materials.

Anne is currently writing up her PhD thesis.

Approach and tools:

Flow through optical microscopy, AFM imaging, SEM, EDX, Constant composition method, in-situ UV-VIS, XRD. 

Kasper Primdal Olesen

Project student

 

HETEROGENEOUS NUCLEATION OF CaCO3

Kasper studied heterogeneous nucleation and growth of calcite on mineral surfaces and polymers present in the environment. The aim was to elucidate surfaces that inhibit and enhance calcite formation.

 

Approach and tools:

SEM, EDX, Constant composition, diffusion experiments. 

Lasse Nikolajsen

Bachelor Student

 

HETEROGENEOUS CALCITE FORMATION​

Lasse studied the thermo dynamic barrier to nucleation on a range of substrates. We set up nice system to study nucleation in-situ with optical microscopy under constant flow and steady state conditions.

Approach and tools:

Flow through optical microscopy, SEM, EDX,  in-situ UV-VIS, XRD. 

Svend Harry Canas Weihe

Master student

 

MICROBIAL FeOX REDUCTION​

Svend studied the rate of hematite reduction by the reducing bacteria Shewanella. He showed how the  presence of organic compounds interfere with the mineral-microbe system paving the way for a better understanding of natural systems.

Approach and tools:

Glove boxes, ferrozine metod, TEM, SEM, EDX.

Mia Nielsen

PhD student

INORGANIC INHIBITION OF CARBONATES

Inorganic componds such as Mg, SO4 and MgSO4 combined show varying degree of inhibition of calcite. Mia did a range of studies to understand the underlying mechanisms behind the inhibition to improve scaling strategies and bio proxies.

 

Approach and tools:

 SEM, EDX, Constant composition method, in-situ UV-VIS, XRD. 

July/

Welcome Magnus!

Cyphers VRS

June/

Hawaii trip canceled :(

Chloés internship transformed to a literature study.

May/

Zoom meetings

Hellooo Cypher

April/

Zoom meetings

Welcome Ioannis!

March/

Cypher time

COVID-19 Lock-down

February/

Proposal writing

Paper writing

Congratulations to Toosin Agbaje on our received Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for him. Expected Onset October 2020.

January/

Proposal writing

Paper writing

December/

Cypher VRS

Proposal writing

Rejection of 4/5 proposals submitted 2019

I am giving a heads up on GLOBEs gender initiative, and taking the opportunity to  highlight that we need to check our own biases. 

November/

Cypher VRS 

Jaime joins the group for his masters project on environmental DNA. Welcome!

October/

I am giving seminar at the University of Lund on mineral facilitated horizontal gene transfer and the potential  for the evolution of life. 

The Cypher arrives!

Proposal time! We are busy writing . We are involved in 7 proposals. 

September/

Anne will defend her PhD Thesis the 27th. 14.00 Aud 2 HCØ. CPH.

I am giving an Invited Talk at GSA in Arizona, on the role of geochemistry and mineral facilitated horizontal gene transfer for the evolution of life. Session: "Effects of Mineral-Water Interface Complexity on Geochemical Processes: A Session in Honor of Mineralogical Society of America Awardee for 2018, Laura Nielsen Lammers." Congratulations Laura!

August/

Goldschmidt conference, Barcelona, Spain. Convener: Interactions between Microbes, Minerals, and Molecules Across Space and Time

Willerslev workshop, Camebridge, UK. Stan will talk about propagation of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment. I will talk about mineral facilitated evolution of life. 

July/

Stanislav Jelavic will join the groups as a Post Doc for 2 years. He will mainly be looking into the interactions between  DNA and minerals.

Anne Rath Nielsen hands in her PhD thesis on the interplay between organic compounds and mineral surfaces. Applications from oil recovery to design of new materials.  

May/

Expected onset of VYI project: Distribution of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment: The role of mineral facilitated horizontal gene transfer.

Erasmus student Léa Dieudonné will join the group.

April/

Announcement for a 2 year post doc position in my lab. Expected hire starting 1st of July.

March/

Annual meeting in the Danish Geological Society. 

PhD opponent, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

February/

Congratulations to Ioannis Kontopoulos on our received Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for him. Expected Onset early 2020.

January/

Award Ceremony. Receiving VILLUM YOUNG INVESTIGATOR GRANT. 

2019

October/

Onset DFF-Danish ERC-Programme  grantThe significance of minerals in horizontal gene transfer: A new
principle for evolution of life?
 

C A L E N D E R 

©2020 by Karina K. Sand

karina.sand@gmail.com

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