Metals, Microbes, and Analytical Chemistry in the Environment

The Boiteau Lab

In every bottle of seawater and every scoop of soil there are millions of microbes that transform minerals into the organic building blocks of life and then recycle them for the use of future generations. Understanding these elemental cycles is needed to develop accurate climate models, assess the fate and impact of harmful contaminants, and design sustainable practices for food and bio-fuel production. Yet the metabolic pathways, organisms, and genes involved in these processes are still unknown. 

We develop analytical approaches (especially mass spectrometry) that provide us with new windows into how elemental cycles are structured at the molecular level. Leveraging these and other 'omics' tools, our goal is to develop predictive knowledge of how metals and organic nutrients impact food webs, evolutionary adaptations, and environmental/human health. 


Find Us 


We have moved the University of Minnesota! 

If you are interested in joining our group, please reach out to us at Positions are available at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, technician, and postdoc). 

We currently have open posted positions for a lab technician and postdoctoral scholar: 

Learn about our work


Check out this recent article about our upcoming research in the Southern Ocean! 

Science Pub Talk:

Several decades ago, oceanographers first recognized that the addition of iron to surface waters stimulates algal growth in over a third of the ocean. This realization sparked international efforts to understand the role that iron plays in regulating ocean ecosystems and global carbon cycling. How do feedbacks between climate, iron-rich dust deposition, and ocean productivity work? Can humans leverage iron fertilization to offset greenhouse gas emissions or boost fisheries? Check out this 'Science pub' about the knowns and unknowns of this important topic.