Dr John Moreau
- Reader in Geomicrobiology & Environmental Geoscience (Earth Sciences)
Dr. Moreau is interested in how environmental microorganisms influence and transform the physical and chemical nature of rocks, sediments, soil and water, over both human and geological timescales. His group has studied the role of sulphur-cycling microbes in controlling the movement of heavy metals through acid mine drainage-impacted sediments and coastal acid sulphate soils. They have also investigated and discovered new mercury methylating bacteria in seawater and sea ice, as well as studied global mercury biogechemical cycling and the evolution of microbial arsenic resistance. Other projects have involved establishing robust criteria for distinguishing microbially-formed mineral biosignatures from inorganic artifacts, developing new autotrophic thiocyanate-degrading bioreactors for remediating mining-contaminated groundwater, and characterising the response of microbes living deep underground to the injection of large volumes of CO2. To conduct their research, the Moreau Lab employs a wide range of methods, including molecular biology, metagenomics, bioinformatics, aqueous geochemistry, electron microscopy, and advanced spectroscopy.
Dr. Moreau obtained his Ph.D from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California-Berkeley in 2006. He served as a United States National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Geological Survey from 2006-2008. He then worked as a Lecturer (2008-2013), Senior Lecturer (2014-2018) and Associate Professor (2019) in the School of Earth Sciences at The University of Melbourne, where he founded the cross-faculty Environmental Microbiology Research Initiative (EMRI). Dr. Moreau joined the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow in July 2019.
Gionfriddo, C. M., Tate, M. T., Wick, R. R., Schultz, M. B., Zemla, A., Thelen, M. P., Schofield, R., Krabbenhoft, D. P., Holt, K. E. and Moreau, J. W. (2016) Microbial mercury methylation in Antarctic sea ice. Nature Microbiology, 1(10), 16127. (doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.127) (PMID:27670112)
Watts, M. P., Gan, H. M., Peng, L. Y., Lê Cao, K.-A. and Moreau, J. W. (2017) In situ stimulation of thiocyanate biodegradation through phosphate amendment in gold mine tailings water. Environmental Science and Technology, 51(22), pp. 13353-13362. (doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04152) (PMID:29064247)
Bioleaching of rare earth elements from mine tailings and weathered soils, Australian Research Council, $611K AUD
Improving thiocyanate bioremediation with metagenomics/transcriptomics, Australian Research Council, $555K AUD
XAS beamtime award, Australian Synchrotron, N/A
Biodegradation of thiocyanate, Newmarket Gold Corp, $250K AUD
The Metagenome of Antarctic sea ice: implications for nutrient and mercury biogeochemical cycling, Joyce Lambert Antarctic Foundation Grant, $60K AUD
Unraveling the evolution of microbial arsenic resistance via metagenomic study of a modern analogue for Early Earth hot springs (ChampagnePool, NewZealand) University of Melbourne Dyason Fellowship, $5K AUD
Bioreactor experimental study of microbial responses to supercritical CO2 exposure, Australian Federal Education Investment Fund, $250K AUD
Aboriginal rock art of the Kimberley region, WA, landscape geochemistry, surface processes and complementary dating techniques, Australian Research Council, $480K AUD
A High throughput screening and sequencing facility for single cell genomics, Australian Research Council, $380K AUD
Antarctic sea-ice microbial response to rapid atmospheric mercury deposition events, Australian Antarctic Division, $120K AUD
Aqueous organic-microbe-metal interactions in mineral depositing systems, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Flagship Cluster Program, $563K AUD ($3M total)
Electron flow in iron hyper-enriched coastal acid sulfate soils, Australian Research Council, $120K AUD
Anaerobic methane oxidation in the deep subseafloor, Australian Research Council, $140K AUD
Geomicrobiology of Aboriginal rock art in The Kimberley, Western Australia, Kimberley Foundation and Melbourne University, $40K AUD
Microbial response to deep saline aquifer CO2 sequestration, CO2 Cooperative Research Centre(Australian government), $140K AUD ($2.7M total)
Biogeochemical drivers of uranium isotope fractionation in regolith and groundwater, Australian Research Council, $90K AUD
Understanding extremely deep sub-seafloor anaerobic methane oxidation, Australia-New Zealand Integrated Ocean Drilling Consortium, $20K AUD
Bioremediation of thiocyanate contamination in mining-impacted groundwater, Northgate Minerals Corporation, $30K AUD
IODP Expedition 322: Nankai Trough Subduction Zone, Australia-New Zealand Integrated Ocean Drilling Consortium, N/A
Microbially-mediated nitrogen and metals cycling from a rural unlined landfill, Pyrennees Shire Council, $15K AUD
Groundwater-surfacewater exchange along the Broken River, Victoria, Australia, National Water Commission of Australia, $172K AUD
Speciation and bioavailability of mercury for bacterial methylation in the presence of natural organic matter, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lab, N/A
Bacterial mercury methylation dynamics in natural systems, U.S. National Research Council, $110K USD
I am currently supervising 4 finishing PhD candidates at The University of Melbourne, where I worked for 11 years.
Prospective PhD applicants to the University of Glasgow should contact me directly at john.moreau (at) gla.ac.uk, and be prepared to submit a brief written proposal (1-2 pages) for a doctoral research project. The project should align with my previous or current research topics or approaches such that it would be feasible for me to offer sufficient support/mentoring to the PhD candidate.
Hydrogeology (EARTH4075) - Fall semester
Environmental Geochemistry (EARTH40XX) - Spring semester