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A Biomarker-based Reconstruction and Comparison of The Microbial Ecology of Ancient Lake Magadi and Modern Nasikie Engida in the East African Rift Valley

Collins, Evan (2024) A Biomarker-based Reconstruction and Comparison of The Microbial Ecology of Ancient Lake Magadi and Modern Nasikie Engida in the East African Rift Valley. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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It is important to understand the system dynamics of equatorial saline alkaline (soda) lakes in order to expand our understanding of lake biogeochemical dynamics around the world. Little is known about equatorial soda lakes over geologic time despite their high modern production rates and unique microbial assemblages. Here, biomarkers are used to trace microbial diversity in Lakes Nasikie Engida and Magadi over the past 2.8 and 456 kyr respectively. I used the recalcitrant lipids in methane cycling archaea, pigments in algae and bacteria, and leaf waxes from aquatic and terrestrial plants to reconstruct paleoenvironments and microbial community variations in lakes Nasikie Engida and Magadi. The results from this project have filled gaps in our understanding of lake microbial ecosystems and biogeochemical processes in soda lakes of the East African Rift Valley in the Middle to Late Pleistocene.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Collins, Evanerc92@pitt.eduerc920000-0001-6317-2246
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWerne,
Committee MemberJones,
Committee MemberBain,
Committee MemberRamsey,
Date: 10 January 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 November 2023
Approval Date: 10 January 2024
Submission Date: 7 December 2023
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 133
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Environmental Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: GDGT, hopanoid, triterpenoid, stable carbon isotopes, compound specific isotopes, fatty acids, FAMEs, methane cycling, methanogen, methanotroph, East Africa, Magadi, Nasikie Engida, anaerobic oxidation of methane, anaerobic methanotroph, hot springs, methane index, chlorophyll, carotenoid, dihydrospheroidene, decaprenoxanthin, pheophorbide, phaeophorbide, blue shifting, pigment preservation, astrobiology, Jezero Crater, n-alkane, leaf wax, paleoenvironmental proxy, sulfate reduction, biogeochemcial cycling, climate change
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 14:03
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 14:03


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