SUBSEA Research Objectives
Development of new models of fluid flow and energetics to guide exploration and quantification of how our ability to generate predictions succeeds or fails.
Everett Shock studies planetary habitability through the lens of geochemistry, building theoretical methods to predict organic compound stabilities and consequences of water-rock reactions at high temperatures and pressures, testing predictions with hydrothermal experiments, and following the energy flow through hydrothermal and serpentinizing ecosystems. His research group (GEOPIG) produces the most widely used geochemical thermodynamic data for aqueous solutes, maps thermodynamic and kinetic constraints on habitability, and pioneers the development of geobiochemistry as an emerging field of inquiry. Field projects focus on hot spring ecosystems at Yellowstone and serpentinizing systems in Oman. In both locations GEOPIG researchers conduct nested sampling for major solutes, dissolved gases, trace elements, organic compounds, mineralogy, microbial communities, and biomolecules including genetic material, lipids and pigments. Hydrothermal experiments are designed to reveal mechanisms of organic transformation reactions in high temperature aqueous solutions with and without minerals and metals in solution. Theoretical models are constructed to follow the flow of mass and energy through actively altering geochemical systems and to predict geochemical power supplies to microbial communities. Shock is a co-investigator on the MASPEX-Europa team that will supply the mass spectrometer for NASA’s multi-flyby mission to Europa and interpret the molecular and isotopic data it obtains.