Yuhao Li

Master of Science
Konhauser Geobiology Research Group
University of Alberta



+1 780-655-0268






ESB 3-13

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2E3

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
Current Projects
Cell growth under high Fe and Si concentration

Cyanobacteria are experimentally grown in the presence of both dissolved Fe(II) and Si in initially anoxic environment to not only observe the size and morphology of the iron minerals produced by cyanobacteria, but as well how cyanobacteria react to high concentration of dissolved Fe (II) and Si, both of which are depleted in most modern oceans.  

Aggregate settling experiments

Rates and extends of sedimentation of both ferrihydrite precipitates and cyanobacteria-ferrihydrite aggregates under different current conditions are examined to assess the impact that encrustation has on the deposition of biomass and aggregates; and the amount of biomass potentially buried through water column when cyanobacteria may have been the dominant player in BIF deposition.


University of Alberta

Investigating cyanobacteria-ferrihydrite aggregations and deposition of such aggregates in water column.


Master of Science



Master of Science 

Integrated Petroleum Geoscience

University of Alberta

Thesis: Sedimentology and Ichnology of the basal Cretaceous Peace River oil sands, Alberta. 

Supervisor: Dr. Murray Gingras

University of Alberta

Thesis:  Regional Sedimentology and Ichnology of Upper Gething Formation in Peace River Oil Sands.

Supervisor: Dr. Murray Gingras


Bachelor of Science

Banded iron formations (BIF) are iron-rich (~20-40% Fe), siliceous (~40-50%), and organic-lean (<0.5 wt.%) sedimentary deposits that precipitated widely during the late Archean (2.7-2.5 Ga) and Paleoproterozoic (2.5-1.8 Ga). As cyanobacteria evolved, the reaction between dissolved Fe(II) and  photosynthetically produced oxygen would have became a viable mechanism for Fe(II) oxidation near the surface of the Precambrian oceans.

The association or encrustation of cells with minerals not only influences the amount of organic carbon in Fe deposits, but the rate and extent of microbial cell sedimentation. To date, studies directed at cell-ferrihydrite aggregate formation have exclusively focused on photoferrotrophs. Here, we examine (1) the growth of the marine cyanobacterium strain Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 in the presence of both dissolved Fe(II) and silica under various conditions, and (2) the resultant cell-ferrihydrite aggregates. This allows for the characterization of the size and morphology of Fe(III) minerals produced by cyanobacteria, as well as the rates by which the cell-mineral aggregates sediment. This work has implications for understanding the potential role of cyanobacteria in BIF precipitation and deposition.