Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE) Members

Richard KIMBER

I am a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE).  I am primarily interested in studying DNA-mineral interactions with the goal of elucidating mineralogical and geochemical controls on the preservation of (ancient) DNA. I co-supervise several projects within the MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome) research platform that focus on DNA interactions at mineral surfaces and their role in promoting (or inhibiting) DNA preservation in the presence of common degradation agents. By addressing these questions, we aim to improve our ability to find and extract ancient DNA from sediments.

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Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE) Team Leaders

Stephan M. KRAEMER

Management Board

Stephan Kraemer is the head of the Department of Environmental Geosciences at the University of Vienna and co-founder of the MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome) research platform. He is a low temperature geochemist interested in molecular scale bio-mineral interactions. A particular focus is the reactivity of biogenic molecules including ligands, reductants, enzymes and nucleic acids at mineral surfaces. His research interests include interactions of DNA with mineral phases in the context of long-term eDNA and aDNA preservation. He uses stable isotopes including strontium, mercury and other transition metals as process- and forensic tracers. His laboratory includes a MC-ICPMS isotope lab, trace metal analytics and spectroscopic facilities and methods for mineral characterization. After studying Earth Sciences at Ruhr Universität Bochum, he obtained his PhD in 1997 under the guidance of Prof. Janet Hering (CALTECH) and held positions at UC Berkeley and ETH-Zürich before moving to Vienna in 2006.

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Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE) Members

Veer Vikram SINGH

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE), University of Vienna. I completed my M.Sc. at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India, where I studied clay chemistry and mineralogy to understand the formation of bole beds (clay-rich horizons) present in Deccan basaltic flows. My doctoral research is a part of the research platform MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome from the Depth of Time), a collaboration between EDGE and the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology of the University of Vienna. In my doctoral research, I am focusing on understanding the roles of environmentally relevant minerals such as clays, iron oxides, hydroxyapatite and calcite in preserving the DNA against the common degradational agents such as nucleases, reactive oxygen species and ionizing radiation. My work will help develop a better understanding of the role of minerals in the long-term preservation of the human genome in the environment.  

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