Research interests and expertise

Dr. Reith is geomicrobiologist and geochemist interested in the geomicrobial processes that affect metal cycling and the formation of new minerals. In turn, he also studies how microbes are affected by elevated concentrations of heavy metals in these environments. His particular interests lie in the biomediated cycling of noble/heavy metals, e.g., gold, platinum, uranium, osmium and iridium. The fundamental processes understanding created in a range of ARC funded project is used to develop tools for industry, e.g., biosensors and bioindicators for mineral exploration. Therefore, his approach is highly multidisciplinary and he has gained expertise in wide range of techniques, including:

Field techniques: Field sterile sampling for geomicrobial analyses; regolith-, soil- and leaf litter sampling, percussion drilling, core logging, remote area and subsurface mine experience, geological, geomorphological, vegetation, soil and regolith landform mapping.

Microbial and molecular techniques: Microcosm and incubation studies, batch experiments, reactive transport column experiments, partial/selective leaching, aerobic and anaerobic culturing techniques, physiological and molecular profiling of complex microbial communities using DNA and RNA extraction, PCR-DGGE, TRLFP, quantitative PCR of functional genes, whole genome DNA amplification, transcriptome microarrays, metagemomic microarray analyses (e.g., Phylochip and Geochip), Next Generation Sequencing (NGS, 454 Pyro- and Illumina (MiSeq) sequencing), proteomic techniques (SDS- and native 2D-PAGE, MALDI-TOF-TOF, LC-MS).

(Micro)-analytical techniques: Synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy (µXRF, µXANES, EXAFS), ICP-AES/OES, (LA)-ICP-MS, (HPLC)-ICP-MS, XRD, XRF, FEG-SEM, (FIB)-SEM-(EDS/EBSD), STM, AFM, EPMA, nano-SIMS, HPLC, GC, epifluorescence- and confocal laser microscopy.

Software: MS-Windows (95 to 7), MS-Office, Sigmaplot, XACT, Photoshop, Illustrator, Geochemists Workbench, Primer 6, Canoco, Geneious, SPSS, MEGA, Athena, GeoPIXE, Phylotrack, R, online bioinformatics tools and databases.

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