What do we do?
Our research is interdisciplinary. It integrates concepts from geochemistry, microbiology, and hydrogeology to answer questions related to water, energy, and the environment. As an example, our work in the High Plains aquifer system considers questions such as:
Most of our studies examine roles of microorganisms and how they relate to the chemistry and hydrology of their environments. Improving our understanding of microbial processes in geological environments is very important because microorganisms drive many of the chemical reactions that occur in nature, causing significant impacts to the chemical and physical properties of their environments.
This area of research provides exciting opportunities for geoscientists to help solve problems of broad interest.
Interdisciplinary research, such as that carried out by our lab group, has the advantage of allowing us to paint a more complete picture than is possible within one discipline. The world is interdisciplinary! At the same time, interdisciplinary research also provides excellent training for students. By learning about broad areas of science, students can make more informed career decisions, gain greater freedom in choosing their career path, learn to appreciate broader perspectives, and improve their ability to communicate with scientists from different disciplines.
Interested in joining us?
Postdocs and students who are interested in joining our research group should contact Matthew Kirk to discuss qualifications and research interests.
Geology students can apply to do graduate research in our group at the MS level. Application instructions are provided here on the Geology Department website. Please contact Matthew Kirk before applying, however, to discuss potential projects and funding.
Undergraduate research experiences are incredibly valuable. The experiences gained can provide a huge boost to academic and professional development. When funding is available, undergraduate students may also be compensated to some extent for their time and effort. A list of some of the funding opportunities available through the K-State College of Arts and Sciences is available here.
For recent news and events, check out the K-State Department of Geology website and also Matthew Kirk's twitter account.
Kansas State University, Department of Geology
108 Thompson Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506