My interests involve reactive fluid flow and mineralization in sedimentary and volcanic systems in both ancient and modern environments, as well as microbially mediated reactions at the Earth's surface. I primarily focus on the geochemistry of mass extinctions and the paleogeography of shale gas development (particularly during the late Devonian), and manganese geomicrobiology of cave deposits and wetlands. I am also part of the Engare Sero Footprint Site research group in Tanzania.
Research group websites:
News and Updates
- December 2018 - Sarah and Johnny are awarded the Expedition of the Year Award from the Atlanta Chapter of the Explorers Club for their EC Flag Expedition "Looking for Mass Extinctions in all the Wrong Places"
- December 2017 - Sarah receives National Geographic funding to go to the Gobi Altai, southwestern Mongolia in 2018 to study Late Devonian mass extinctions with the DAGGER group.
- November 2017 - Sarah and Johnny are awarded a 2018 Explorers Club Flag Expedition to the Gobi Altai, southwestern Mongolia in 2018 to study Late Devonian mass extinctions (see Explorers Club Flag Expeditions for more information)
- April/May 2017 - More manganese, please! The manganese research groups at Appalachian have published two more papers on manganese mineralization, one on in situ biomineral experiments in modern caves ("Carbon quantity and quality drives variation in cave microbial communities and regulates Mn(II) oxidation" by Cloutier et al, 2017) and one on manganese ore deposits in deep time ("New insight into the origin of manganese oxide ore deposits in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge of northeastern Tennessee and northern Virginia, USA" by Carmichael et al., 2017).
- March 2017 - Sarah is named a Fellow of the Explorers Club (stories at Appalachian Magazine and Appalachian News)
- October 2016 - The Engare Sero research team's radioisotope dates for the human footprints have been published in P-cubed: Radioisotopic age, formation, and preservation of Late Pleistocene human footprints at Engare Sero, Tanzania. This work is now being showcased in the media, at the Washington Post, National Geographic, the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, and many others!
- August 2016 - Sarah (PI) and co-PIs (Ellen Cowan, Jamie Levine, Gabe Casale, and Guichuan Hou) receive NSF-MRI grant (NSF-MRI-EAR #1625137) for purchase of a new scanning electron microscope for the Dewel Microscopy Facility at Appalachian!
- August 2016 - Sarah is elected a Councilor for the Mineralogical Society of America (2017-2019)
Note to international students: Appalachian State University's Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is an undergraduate geology program, and does not have opportunities for graduate students. If you are interested in graduate work with the manganese geomicrobiology research team, you must have a background in microbiology and apply to the MS in Biology program. Please contact Dr. Suzanna Bräuer in the Department of Biology for more information.