About Magdalena R. Osburn's Work
I am a geobiologist interested in understanding how microbial dark matter contributes to biogeochemical cycling. These organisms are uncultivated and unclassified but constitute the vast majority of microbial life on Earth. My work is focused primarily on the deep subsurface environment, a large and geochemically interesting environment that is particularly rich in novel taxa. A key feature of my work involves the development of novel cultivation techniques both in the lab and in the environment to help understand why these microbes are so hard to grow and ultimately, grow them. I use micro-scale imaging and DNA sequencing to identify organisms, reconstruct their genomes, and see how they interact with minerals and one another. I am also interested in developing lipid biomarker approaches to understand biological information preserved in rocks over geological timescales.