The Biosedimentology Laboratory supports studies of organism-sediment interactions, with an emphasis on microbial systems. Topics of particular interest include the origin of biolaminated sediments, the effects of grazing and burrowing metazoans on sedimentary fabrics, microbial fossilization processes and early diagenesis. Capabilities include dual interference contrast (Nomarsky) and flouresence microscopy, transmitted and reflected polarizing light microscopy, cathodoluminenscence and fluid inclusion analysis. Dedicated computers for image processing, analysis and archiving are also available. The lab includes a microdrilling system for microsampling rocks for geochemical analysis. Culturing of microorganisms supports experimental studies of microbial taphonomy. Equipment is also available for preparing histological sections of biological materials for light and transmission electron microscopy (ATEM). Samples can also be prepared by critical point drying for scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Electron microscopy is carried out using instruments available at the Goldwater Instrumentation Facility and confocal microscopy is carried out at the Keck Bioimaging Laboratory on campus.
Mars research is supported by the Space Photography Lab located in the Department of Geological Sciences. This facility provides access to archived data from past and ongoing NASA missions.