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Dianne Newman
California Institute of Technology


Dianne Newman, a professor of geobiology and biology at Caltech, focuses on the metabolisms of microbes that live in the absence of oxygen, looking at how they are able to produce energy and thrive in low-oxygen environments. Her research has included ancient bacteria able to use iron in place of water to photosynthesize, providing a possible explanation for the appearance of banded iron formations (BIFs), as well as re-identifying possible reasons for the biomarker 2-methylhopanes found in ancient rocks. The study of ancient microorganisms connects with her current research on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen able to infect the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis by also surviving under anoxic conditions.

NAI Project Collaborators