"Environment" research area

Rocking the Duluth Complex

Gateway, May 1, 2015

By Sarah Perdue

For Dan Jones, a research associate in the BioTechnology Institute and the Department of Earth Sciences, biogeochemistry is not simply an important field of research — it literally rocks.

Jones, who is funded through MnDRIVE: Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment (MnDRIVE: Environment), studies natural rock formations and their associated microbial communities. His work, which includes basic science, fieldwork, and industrial applications is focused on microbial processes related to sulfide mineral oxidation in the Duluth Complex — a huge rock body that holds one of the largest undeveloped sources of copper, nickel, and platinum group elements in the world. It is also under review as a potential mining site.