Shock and members of his research group divide their time among building algorithms to estimate thermodynamic data; analyzing water, sediment, rock and biological samples; integrating analytical and thermodynamic data in models of geochemical and microbial processes; and testing ideas about the transport of water and solutes through the environment, the biogeochemical processes of the subsurface biosphere, and the potential for life on other planets. Shock has served on several NASA, Ocean Drilling Program, National Science Foundation and National Research Council committees that have focused on the support of life in extreme environments on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. More information about the Biogeochemistry program at ASU can be found at: http://biogeochemistry.asu.edu/
Shock’s analytical, experimental, and molecular biogeochemistry laboratories feature state-of-the-art analytical facilities for water, gas, and biological samples including high-resolution inductively-coupled-plasma mass spectrometry (HR-ICP-MS, Finnigan Element-2), ion chromatography, gas chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for aqueous organic analysis. Shock’s group has experience with analysis of hot spring, hydrothermal, river, spring, lake and seawater samples, as well as analysis of trace elements in basalts, meteorites, carbonates, fish otoliths, mollusk shells, individual mineral grains and fluid inclusions, soils, petroleum, coal, wood, leaves, biofilms, mammal tissue, and a variety of man-made materials via microwave digestion and HR-ICP-MS. The lab also supports ongoing field work at Yellowstone focused on the geochemical support of organisms on the deepest and shortest Bacteria and Archaea branches of the universal phylogenetic tree, as well as geochemical characterization of the flow of energy that supports the extreme genetic diversity of individual hot springs.
Microbiological and molecular facilities, within the biogeochemistry lab, include a custom-designed Zeiss microscope that combines fluorescence and petrographic microscopy; together with equipment for culturing psychrophilic, mesophilic, thermophilic and hyperthermophilic bacteria and archaea; and equipment for amplifying, visualizing, and hybridizing DNA and RNA. Experimental facilities provide the means to grow microorganisms under controlled conditions allowing exploration of the impact of changes in geochemically relevant variables.
Computing resources, including a Sun V880 server, and additional Unix, PC and Mac machines, are available for thermodynamic and kinetic model calculations and estimation of thermodynamic data. Shock’s group has a tradition of generating and/or enhancing equations of state for aqueous solutions, developing methods to estimate thermodynamic data that are not available from experiments, and modeling the consequences of reactions among aqueous fluids, rocks, organic matter and microorganisms.
Keck Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry: The newly established W. M. Keck Foundation Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry is a focal point for research at the molecular intersection of chemistry, geosciences and biology at ASU. Research in the Laboratory is overseen by a four-member Executive Council that includes Ariel Anbar, Nancy Grimm, Laurie Leshin, and Everett Shock, and is chaired by Shock in his capacity as Director. The centerpiece of the Keck Laboratory is a newly renovated laboratory complex that occupies contiguous space in the basement of the “F-Wing” of the Bateman Physical Sciences Building. These facilities include a Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, a General Chemistry Laboratory for experiments and sample preparation, office space for technical staff, and a meeting room. These spaces commingle with the Anbar’s research facilities, including a Metal-Free Clean Laboratory and a “Metallomics” lab for research on metals in biological systems. Renovation of these facilities, is scheduled to be completed by August 2004, and research will begin in the Keck lab during the 2004-2005 academic year. These facilities are described in more detail at the lab website (http://geopig.asu.edu/Keck%20Lab.html).