Dr. Tyler Mackey



Assistant Professor



Earth and Planetary Sciences

Describe your research in about 200 words.

My research uses the tools of sedimentology to understand what evidence of microbial communities can enter the rock record. The majority of Earth history is microbial, and such sediments serve as a window to key evolutionary transitions and changes in habitats through time. My recent research projects have included exploration of habitats in modern ice-covered Antarctic lakes, where thick microbial mats form delicate patterns similar to those of ancient communities early in Earth history, and assessment of severe glacial environments in the Neoproterozoic (1000–541 million years ago) that surrounded the expansion of complex life.


What’s the most interesting thing you have learned from a student?

That toasting burritos in camp fire coals after a long field day can make even the most basic canned beans into a great communal meal.