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Research Departments



                                                                                                                                                                     Micro-organisms are found in every conceivable environment on modern Earth, as long as water is present and the temperature is below 122°C. Beyond the environmental and societal implications, this adjustment to various extreme circumstances raises the question whether extant life also occurs at great depths in the Earth’s crust, how life originated and evolved early in Earth’s history, and whether life may have originated on early Mars and elsewhere.


The Geomicrobiology research group is specialized in the characterization of the interactions between microorganisms and minerals. We developed numerous and innovative methods to jointly image and identify organic matter/microorganisms and their mineralized environment at the same micrometer scale. These developments benefit from a dedicated technical platform that allows preparing, imaging, and characterizing geomicrobiological samples in 2D and 3D. We have now a strong expertise in the in situ characterization of organic matter that permits to track down traces of microbial life in rocks, to characterize their microhabitats and to establish new types of biomarkers such as remnants of cells or biominerals.

Team members

Bénédicte Ménez, Professeur Paris Diderot, Responsable

Sylvie Larousse, Responsable administrative


Giovanni Aloisi, Directeur de Recherche CNRS
Gaston Godard, Maître de Conférence Paris Diderot
Céline Pisapia, Maître de Conférence Paris Diderot
Mark van Zuilen, Chargé de Recherche CNRS


Hélène Bouquerel, IE IPGP
Michel Fialin, IR CNRS
Emmanuelle Gérard, IR IPGP
Léna Lecourt, T CNRS
Marc Quintin, AI Paris DIderot


Rachael Leigh Moore
Kimberly Dawn Myers
Dylan Wilmeth

PhD students

Thaïs Couasnon
Charlotte Dejean
Aurélien Lecoeuvre
Joti Rouillard