Ashley Maloney is a recipient of the 2020 Simons Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Marine MicrobialEcology
Welcome to the Zhang Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Lab
The Zhang laboratory seeks to understand microbial nutrient and energy transfer in past and present environments. Our interdisciplinary approach, which draws inspiration from culture-based microbiology, molecular microbial ecology, and stable isotope geochemistry, is imbued by strong consideration of microbial metabolism at cellular and community scales and involves research in both laboratory and field settings.
Metalloproteins are a central theme in our research as they catalyze nearly all energy transfers in biology. Despite their importance, much remains to be understood about what controls metalloprotein activity in the environment. This fundamentally limits our ability to address changes in climate, elemental cycling, and the energy landscape. We believe that viewing metalloprotein activity in the context of broader metabolic fluxes within and between cells will aid in resolving long-standing questions in microbial biogeochemistry.
Opportunities for microbe lovers at both graduate and post-doc levels are available! Postdoc positions are available for benthic N2 fixation, methane,and alternative nitrogenase related projects. Undergrads interested in gaining research experience should take a look at summer internships in the Zhang lab funded by the The High Meadows Environmental Institute (see http://environment.princeton.edu/undergrads/internships/opportunities/).
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.Contact Information: Princeton University, Department of Geosciences, M47 Guyot Hall, Princeton NJ 08544 Phone: (609) 258-2489 E-mail: email@example.com
Katja Luxem’s paper "Carbon substrate re-orders relative growth of a bacterium using Mo-, V-, or Fe-nitrogenase for nitrogen fixation" was just...
One of the environmental questions Zhang is exploring is why methane, a significant greenhouse gas, is increasing in the atmosphere.
Biological nitrogen fixation by alternative nitrogenases in terrestrial ecosystems: a review
Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), a key reaction of the nitrogen cycle, is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase. The best studied isoform of this metalloenzyme requires molybdenum (Mo) at its active center to reduce atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) into bioavailable ammonium. The Mo-dependent nitrogenase is found in all diazotrophs and is the only...
Carbon substrate re-orders relative growth of a bacterium using Mo-, V-, or Fe-nitrogenase for nitrogen fixation.
Global Nitrogen Cycle: Critical Enzymes, Organisms, and Processes for Nitrogen Budgets and Dynamics
Nitrogen (N) is used in many of life’s fundamental biomolecules, and it is also a participant in environmental redox chemistry. Biogeochemical processes control the amount and form of N available to organisms (“fixed” N). These interacting processes result in N acting as the proximate limiting nutrient in most surface environments. Here, we...
Large hydrogen isotope fractionations distinguish nitrogenase-derived methane from other sources
Biological nitrogen fixation is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrogenase. Two forms of this metalloenzyme, the vanadium (V) and iron (Fe)-only nitrogenases, were recently found to reduce small amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4). Here we report carbon (13C/12C) and hydrogen (2H/1H) stable isotopic...