Banfield at the Franklin Award Ceremony with her husband Peregrine (Perry) Smith in April 2011. Photo Credit: Jeremy Messler
Jillian Fiona Banfield|
Armidale, New South Wales
Australian National University (BSc)|
Johns Hopkins University (PhD)
V. M. Goldschmidt Award (2017)|
Dana Medal (2010)
University of Melbourne|
University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Tokyo
University of California, Berkeley
|Thesis||HRTEM studies of subsolidus alteration, weathering, and subsequent diagenetic and low-grade metamorphic reactions (1990)|
|Doctoral advisor||David R. Veblen|
Jillian Fiona Banfield FRS FAA (born Armidale, Australia) is Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with appointments in the Earth Science, Ecosystem Science and Materials Science and Engineering departments. She leads the Microbial Research initiative within the Innovative Genomics Institute, is affiliated with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has a position at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Some of her most noted work includes publications on the structure and functioning of microbial communities and the nature, properties and reactivity (especially crystal growth) of nanomaterials.
Early life and education
Banfield was educated at the Australian National University where she completed her bachelor's and master's degrees (1978–1985) both examining granite weathering. She attributes her initial interest in geomicrobiology to Dr Tony Eggleton who drew her attention to processes at the earth's surface, mineral weathering and the regolith.
Banfield graduated with a PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Johns Hopkins University for high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) studies of metamorphic reactions supervised by David R. Veblen.
Career and research
Banfield is an earth scientist who studies the structure, functioning and diversity of microbial communities in natural environments and the human microbiome. Her laboratory and collaborators pioneered the reconstruction of genomes from natural ecosystems and community metaproteomic analyses. Through genomics, her group has provided insights into previously unknown and little known bacterial and archaeal lineages, leading to a new rendition of the Tree of Life. She has conducted extensive research on natural and synthetic nanomaterials, exploring the impacts of particle size on their structure, properties and reactivity. Her lab described the oriented attachment-based mechanism for growth of nanoparticles and its implications for development of defect microstructures. She has also studied microorganism-mineral interactions, including those that lead to production of nanomaterials.
Banfield has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1990 to 2001 and The University of Tokyo (1996–1998). Since 2001, she has been a researcher and professor at the University of California Berkeley. Here she heads their geomicrobiology program and works as a researcher under the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her current[when?] research spans from field sites in Northern California to Australia and from subjects including astrobiology and genomics/geosciences.
The Banfield lab studies microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems, including soils, sediments and groundwater, as well as the human environment (human microbiome and the built environment). Topics of current[when?] interest include the process of microbial colonization, organism interdependencies, diversity and microbial evolution. This research includes consideration of microbial impacts on mineral dissolution and precipitation and the structure and reactivity of finely particulate nanomaterials and clays that are abundant and important in earth's near-surface environments.
Research exploring microbial diversity and metabolic capacities draws heavily on genome-resolved metagenomic methods coupled to tools that provide insight into function in situ (proteomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics). In fact, the Banfield lab led the first research that achieved reconstruction of draft genomes from shotgun sequence information (metagenomics, also described as community genomics) as well as the first community (meta)proteomic studies of microbial communities (2004 and 2005, respectively). The combined approaches have been used to investigate many aspects of ecosystem function, including microbial impacts on the carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, iron and hydrogen cycles. Emphasis is placed on analysis of reconstructed genomes because these provide detailed information about genetic potential, with strain resolution, without reliance on laboratory isolation of the organisms or the need for sequences from related (but potentially metabolically distinct) species.
Studies conducted in an underground research facility in Japan are relevant for predicting the implications of microbial activity for the safety of geological disposal of high-level radionuclide wastes. Research conducted at Crystal Geyser (Green River, Utah) probes the potential for subsurface microbial communities to take up CO2 that could leak from CO2 sequestration sites, should such storage be pursued to limit CO2 contamination of the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels. Research on the sediments and aquifer fluids at a site adjacent to the Colorado River near Rifle, Colorado, targets knowledge gaps related to how subsurface microbial communities are structured, respond to changes in environmental conditions, and influence the chemical form and reactivity of contaminants such as vanadium, selenium, arsenic and uranium. Important outcomes of this work include the first descriptions of hundreds of little known or previously unknown organisms, including those from massive groups of uncultivated bacteria (now referred to as the Candidate Phyla Radiation) and archaea.
In a study that involves collaboration with the Harrison Lab at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the group is investigating microbial communities in bioreactors that breakdown thiocyanate, a toxic waste product of gold mining. The objective of this work is to develop understanding of how these communities function under different SCN[clarification needed] loadings, and to provide clues as to the how to improve the effectiveness of biological decontamination of mining wastewater so that it can be recycled back into the mining process.
Research conducted at the Angelo Coast Range Reserve in northern California is comparing the membership and functioning of microbial communities involved in cycling of carbon and other compounds in soils and the vadose zone. Of particular interest is the response of soil consortia to the first fall rain event(s), when massive pulses of carbon and nitrogen compounds propagate through the system.
Research approaches developed initially to study mining-related sites (acid mine drainage-associated ecosystems) has been adapted to investigate the human microbiome. Of particular interest has been the process of colonization of the gastrointestinal tract of premature infants during their critical first weeks of life. In parallel, the lab is studying the sources of microbes that colonize the gut and the flow of microbes between the infant and the surrounding environment. A recent study[clarification needed] demonstrated low level of overlap in the strain membership of microbial communities in different infants hospitalized in the same neonatal intensive care unit at the same time.
The group continues to study nanomaterials, including the process of oriented attachment-based crystal growth that they first described in detail in the mid- to late 1990s. Also of current[when?] interest is the impact of salinity on nucleation and growth of iron oxyhydroxides and on the structure of smectite clay materials.
Honors and awards
- 2018 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).
- 2017 V.M. Goldschmidt Award, Geochemical Society
- 2015 Elected to the Australian Academy of Science (International Member)
- 2015 Honor doctorate, Ben Gurion University, Israel
- 2013 Award of Dr. sch. h.c. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- 2011 L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science: North American Laureate
- 2011 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science of the Franklin Institute
- 2010 Dana Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America
- 2007 Elected Fellow, The Geochemical Society
- 2007 ASM Division Q Lecturer (Environmental and General Applied Microbiology)
- 2006 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
- 2006 Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
- 2005 Pioneer Lecturer, Clay Minerals Society, June 2005
- 2005 Rosenqvist Lecturer, Norway, May 2005
- 2000 Inaugural NSF Earth Science Week Lecturer
- 2000 Gast Lecturer, Geochemical Society
- 2000 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
- 2000 Marion L. and Christie M. Jackson Award of the Clay Minerals Society
- 1999 Fellow through 2004 MacArthur Foundation
- 1999 Faculty Achievement Award, UW-Madison
- 1999 D.A. Brown Medal, Australian National University
- 1998 H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship UW Madison
- 1997 Mineralogical Society of America Award
Banfield is married to Peregrine (Perry) Smith, and they have three children: Nicole Smith (born 1986), Andrei Smith (born 1990) and Elliot Smith (born 1993).
- Jillian Banfield publications indexed by Google Scholar
- Banfield, Jillian Fiona (1990). HRTEM studies of subsolidus alteration, weathering, and subsequent diagenetic and low-grade metamorphic reactions. proquest.com (PhD thesis). Johns Hopkins University. OCLC 224273093.
- Anon (2018). "Professor Jillian Banfield FRS". royalsociety.org. London: Royal Society. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:
“All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)
- "Jill F. Banfield". Earth and Planetary Science.
- "Jillian BANFIELD". Our Environment at Berkeley.
- Rickard, Michael John (2010). Geology at ANU (1959 - 2009): Fifty Years of History and Reminiscences. Canberra: ANU E Press. p. 117. ISBN 9781921666667.
- Banfield, Jillian F. (1985). The mineralogy and chemistry of granite weathering (MSc thesis). Australian National University.
- "News Interview: Professor Jillian Banfield, Armidale-born international award recipient". ABC Sydney. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- "Jill F. Banfield | Curriculum Vitae". eps.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "Jillian Banfield -Departments of Earth and Planetary Science and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley". Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- "Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Bestows Honorary Doctorates on Ground-Breaking Scientists and Supporters". in.bgu.ac.il. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science". Franklin Institute. 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Mineralogical Society of America - Dana Medal". www.minsocam.org. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "Geochemical Fellows :: Geochemical Society". www.geochemsoc.org. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "ASM Members Elected to National Academy of Sciences" (PDF). ASM News. 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Pioneer in Clay Science Lecturer". The Clay Minerals Society. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Gast Lecture Series :: Geochemical Society". www.geochemsoc.org. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Jill Banfield". www.gf.org. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "CMS People in the News" (PDF). Elements Magazine. December 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Jillian Banfield — MacArthur Foundation". www.macfound.org. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "Professional Honors" (PDF). Department of Geology and Geophysics. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Romnes Awards honor 10 rising faculty stars". news.wisc.edu. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- Veblin, David R. (1998). "Presentation of the Mineralogical Society of America Award for 1997 to Jillian Fiona Banfield" (PDF). American Mineralogist. Retrieved 20 April 2016.