Christian Hallmann
Postdoc and AGI fellow
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
E25-623, 45 Carleton Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
phone 617.324.3958
email hallmann@mit.edu


research interests

Molecular and isotopic (palaeo) biogeochemistry applied to the study of early life on Earth (1) and life in extreme environments (2).

1. By studying the distribution and stable isotope ratio (C and N) of molecular fossils in ancient rocks, we can gather information on past ecological associations and environmental conditions. The first appearance of specific biomarkers in the geological record can be used as a chronological indicator of the emergence and distribution of organism groups, thereby allowing estimation of lineage divergence times. I am particularly interested in using stable nitrogen isotopes to reconstruct the evolution of the palaeo nitrogen cycle and in studying the environmental conditions that allowed the emergence and evolution of complex eukaryotes during the late Neoproterozoic.

2. Little is known about the identity, distribution, and function of bacteria and archaea that inhabit deep subsurface environments, or about the physiological adaptations that allow these microbes to survive in deep nutrient-starved sediments. Representing a major carbon reservoir in the form of biomass and actively influencing biogeochemical cycles, the deep biosphere possibly exerts a control on Earth's climate. I am interested in studying microbial dynamics and function by the analysis of bacterial and archaeal cell wall lipids.



PhD in Applied Chemistry. Curtin University, Perth, Australia, Thesis Submitted.

MSc. Geology-Palaeontology. Cologne University, Germany, 2004


recent publications

Grice, K., Lu, H., Atahan, P., Hallmann, C., James, E., Greenwood, P. and Dodson, J. Perylene: a molecular marker for lignin degradation and the evolution of vascular plants. In Review.

Hallmann, C., Grey, K., Webster, L., McKirdy, D. and Grice, K. Molecular signature of the Neoproterozoic Acraman impact event. In Review.

Hallmann, C., Schwark, L., and Grice, K. Community dynamics of anaerobic bacteria in deep petroleum reservoirs. Nature Geoscience, In Press, doi:10.1038/ngeo260.

Maslen, E., Grice, K., Gale, J., Hallmann, C. and Horsfield, B. Significance and origin of Crocetane in Devonian source-rocks and crude oils from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.Organic Geochemistry, Accepted subject to revisions.

Hallmann, C., van Aarssen, B. and Grice, K. Relative efficiency of free fatty acid butyl esterification. Choice of catalyst and derivatisation procedure. Journal of Chromatography A1198-1199, 14-20 (2008).

Hallmann, C., Schwark, L., Arouri, K. and McKirdy, D. Temporal resolution of an oil charging history – A case study of residual oil benzocarbazoles from the Gidgealpa Field. Organic Geochemistry 38, 1516-1536 (2007).

Hallmann, C., Arouri, K., McKirdy, D. and Schwark, L. A new perspective on exploring the Cooper/Eromanga petroleum province – Evidence of oil charging from the Warburton Basin. APPEA Journal 46, 261-282 (2006).


in preparation

Schwark, L. and Hallmann, C. Secular variation of alkylcarbazoles in oils and sediments.

Hallmann, C., Davis, R., van Aarssen, B., Murray, A., and Grice, K. Comprehensive evaluation of 4D reservoir geochemistry. Molecular and isotopic response of low-molecular-weight petroleum constituents.

Brown, A., Gray, N., Rowan, A., Aitken, C., Jones, D., Roeling, W., Hallmann, C., Larter, S., Bowler, B. and Head, I. Anaerobic degradation of crude oil via sulphate-reduction in a laboratory microcosm study.


Chris' Curtain Webpage


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