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Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie

BIOMIN (Biomineralogy: history, mechanisms and applications)


The BIOMIN group studies the mechanisms of biomineralization, their geological history and their applications.  Understanding how microorganisms contribute to the formation of minerals open windows on (1) traces of biological innovations recorded in minerals and (2) the role played by microorganisms in biogeochemical cycles. We characterize both the biological and mineralogical processes down to the molecular / atomic scales using electron microscopies, X-ray microscopy and various spectroscopies.

Field campaigns (e.g. Lake Pavin, mexican lakes,…), modern and ancient geological objects (stromatolites, hydrothermal chimneys) and biomineralization experiments under controlled conditions, lead us to explore a diversity of processes. For instance, we study the role of photosynthetic microorganisms in the formation of intracellular carbonates and magnesium silicates. We explore processes  of Fe sulfide by microorganisms involved in S, Fe and C cycles, isolated from surface and hydrothermal environments. Eventually, we study the properties of biominerals in terms of electronic and ionic conductivities for applications to energy production and storage.


List of members / Research projects / Publications


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