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Phone: 979.845.3138
Fax: 979.845.6162
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Texas A&M University
Room 314, Halbouty
Department of Geology and Geophysics,
MS 3115,
College Station, Texas 77843


GEOL 101: Intro to Physical Geology

GEOL 681: Evolution of Photosynthesis

GEOL 689: Geobiology of Microorganisms

GEOL 306: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

GEOL 689: Geobiology Research Methods

UPAS 181: Life on Mars

Dr. Mike Tice

Associate Professor

Geological & Environmental Sciences � Geology, Stanford University, 2006

Geology, Duke University, 1999

Engineering & Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, 1997


I am a geobiologist and historical geologist interested in understanding the roles that microorganisms have played in surface systems throughout Earth history. My overarching goal is to explore the evolution of the Bacteria and Archaea, historically and biogeochemically the most important domains of life on Earth, and ultimately to understand better the biological and environmental forces that drive evolution of Earth surface systems generally. My approach to this goal has two major thrusts.

  1. Members of my lab conduct basic research designed to identify specific microbial processes that produce geological biosignatures, and we apply these biosignatures to study the history of microbial communities during times of biological and/or environmental change.
  2. We develop new techniques to identify and quantify depositional processes and stratigraphic relationships in sedimentary systems, and we apply these techniques to the study of paleobiologically significant units.


  • Early microbial evolution
  • Early environmental evolution
  • Physical sedimentology and clastic geochemistry


  • Evolution of photosynthesis and the origins of early banded iron formations
  • Paleoecology of Paleoarchean (> 3.2 Ga) microbial communitiess
  • Mud, silt, and organic matter deposition in submarine fans


Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, 2007-Present


  • Hren, Michael T., M.M. Tice, and C.P. Chamberlain. (2009) Oxygen and hydrogen isotope evidence for a temperate climate 3.42 billion years ago. Nature, in press.
  • Tice, Michael M. (2009) Environmental controls on photosynthetic microbial mat morphogenesis on a 3.42 Ga clastic-starved platform. Astrobiology, in press.
  • Cohen, Phoebe A., A. Bradley, A.H. Knoll, J.P. Grotzinger, S. Jensen, J. Abelson, K. Hand, G. Love, J. Metz, N. McLoughlin, P. Meister, R. Shepard, M. Tice, and J.P. Wilson. (2009) Tubular compression fossils from the Ediacaran Nama Group, Namibia. Journal of Paleontology 83:110–122.
  • Tice, Michael M. (2008) Modern life in ancient mats. Nature 452:40–41.
  • Lowe, Donald R. and M.M. Tice. (2007) Tectonic controls on atmospheric, climatic, and biological evolution 3.5–2.5 Ga. Precambrian Research 158:177–197.
  • Tice, Michael M. and D.R. Lowe. (2006) The origin of carbonaceous matter in pre-3.0 Ga greenstone terrains: a review and new evidence from the 3.42 Ga Buck Reef Chert. Earth-Science Reviews 76(3):259–300.
  • Dietrich, Lars E.P., M.M. Tice, and D.K. Newman. (2006) Coevolution of life and Earth. Current Biology 16(11):R395–R400.
  • Hren, Michael T., D.R. Lowe, M.M. Tice, G.R. Byerly, and C.P. Chamberlain. (2006) Stableisotopic and rare earth elemental evidence for recent ironstone pods within the Archean-aged Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70(6):1457–1470.
  • Tice, Michael M. and D.R. Lowe. (2006) Hydrogen-based carbon fixation in the earliest-known photosynthetic organisms. Geology 34(1):37–40.
  • Tice, Michael M. and D.R. Lowe. (2004) Photosynthetic microbial mats in the 3,416-Myr-old ocean. Nature 431(7008):549-552.
  • Lowe, Donald R. and M.M. Tice. (2004) Geologic evidence for Archean atmospheric and climatic evolution: Fluctuating levels of CO2, CH4, and O2 with an overriding tectonic control. Geology 32(6):493-496.
  • Tice, Michael M., B.C. Bostick and D.R. Lowe. (2004) Thermal history of the 3.5-3.2 Ga Onverwacht and Fig Tree Groups, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, inferred by Raman microspectroscopy of carbonaceous material. Geology 32(1):37-40.
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