Jiarui Liu

PhD Student

Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences

5863 Slichter Hall

Personal Website

My research interests are biogeochemical methane, sulfur and iron cycles of marine sediments. Using the large-geometry mass spectrometer Panorama, I employ methane clumped isotopes as a novel tool to probe microbial activity connected to methane cycling. I also explore the cryptic cycling and emission of methane in sediments of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve. In a forthcoming project on methane seeps, I will examine the role of deep-sea organisms in determining the fate and footprint of methane on Pacific continental margins.

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Geology from China University of Geosciences (CUG, Wuhan). While at CUG, I focused on the formation of authigenic minerals related to biogeochemical methane, sulfur and iron cycling in marine sediments. I also conducted several research visits in the US and Europe to expand my analytical repertoire and more completely elucidate C-S-Fe cycling. Using multiple sulfur isotope analysis at MIT, I investigated pyrite formation associated with organoclastic sulfate reduction, sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane and oxidative sulfur cycling. In Aarhus and Cambridge, I studied pyritization through coupled iron and sulfur diagenesis, aiming to better understand the local controls on pyrite sulfur isotopes. My research also explored the formation of vivianite (Fe(II)–P) and the role of iron-mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane below the sulfate–methane transition.