Ecohydrology Seminar with Dr. Susan Glasauer

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Vanadium: an element with a role in global biogeochemistry?

Presented by Dr. Susan GlasauerDepartment of Land Resource Science, University of Guelph

Abstract: Vanadium is increasingly applied to the studies of almost all fundamental geochemistry disciplines. This element has long been of interest to chemists because of its unique chemical properties, such as the existence of multiple valence states. The chemical speciation and the solubility of V species are strong functions of pH and Eh conditions, making it a key redox indicator in geochemical studies. Those properties also make it an interesting element in biological systems. The role of V in biology likely evolved with the chemical differentiation of the Earth’s surface environment, leading to the intriguing possibility that V played a major role in biological electron transfer early in Earth's history. Increased global demand for V, and for geological resources that generate it as a byproduct, are expected to impact the amount of V cycled in Earth surface environments. We have focused on two sides of the interaction between microbes and vanadium: the impact of bacterial respiration on the mobilization of V from minerals, and the impact of vanadium on bacterial cell walls. For this talk, I'll review vanadium into the context of biogeochemistry and discuss the results from our recent investigations with V and dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria.