School of Earth and Environment

Liane G Benning Prof Liane G Benning

Professor of Experimental Biogeochemistry

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35220
Email address:
Room: 9.163

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My research addresses geochemical reaction mechanisms at low to hydrothermal temperatures in inorganic and biologic systems.

We are applying a variety of laboratory and some field approaches to study biogeochemical processes (e.g., nucleation, growth and crystallization kinetics of minerals, fungal weathering, biomineralization, life in extreme geothermal and cryogenic areas, etc).

Experimental techniques include various laboratory synthesis methods and concentional and high-resolution microscopic and microspectroscopic approaches and all the way to genomic techniques that help elucidate the microbial community diversity and function in various mixed mineral-biofilm systems, in stressed culture environments or in natural field samples from geothermal or cryogenic extreme environments.

A large part of our work is focused on the use of synchrotron-based techniques to elucidate molecular level reaction mechanisms through in situ and realtime techniques that help quantify processes as they occur or use mapping and quantification of functional group distributions to elucidate microbial biochemical signals.

Field-work in the last few years included geothermal extreme environments in Iceland and New Zealand and cryogenic extreme environments (cold deserts) in the European Arctic (Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland).