Advances in environmental metallomics
Rapid advances in mass spectrometry for the analysis of organic molecules (Orbitrap and FT-ICR MS) is driving a revolution in geochemistry because these instruments are able to resolve the complex mixture of organic molecules and isotopologues present in marine, river, and soil environments. This ability to detect rare isotopic forms of organic molecules gives us a new tool to investigate the components of organic matter that incorporate specific elements (nutrients, metals, contaminants) . These approaches are still nascent, and often require the development of new experimental designs and data processing algorithms that enable us to answer specific geochemical questions. One example is the identification of the organic molecules in the ocean that control the cycling of trace elements based on unique isotopic patterns imparted by metals such as Fe, Cu, Ni, and Zn. We often leverage tools from the cutting edge of 'metabolomics', which seeks to quantitatively study the complete suite of small molecule metabolites that provide a functional readout of the physiological status of an organism.
Metallomics modules of CoreMS (Collaboration with EMSL/PNNL)
Lignin degradation products (Collaboration with Yang group at UN Reno)