Tullis Onstott
Professor of Geosciences (Geomicrobiology)

Department of Geosciences
B79 Guyot Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Phone: (609) 258-7678


Recently Given Talks:

NRC Presentation August 31, 2007


Peter Sucheki’s mp4 of the summer 07 field season

Recently Published Papers:

Methane Release on Mars


Long-Term Sustainability of a

High-Energy, Low-Diversity Crustal Biome

Methane on Mars

Research Projects:


Witwatersrand Basin showing location of mines sample during LExEn deep microbiology project.

The South African Deep Microbiology Project - characterizing the microbiology and geochemistry of continental crust down to 5 km! (sponsored by NSF/NASA)


Satellite image of High Lake site in Arctic Canada selected as a Mars analog site where 200 meters of permafrost was collected this summer. Drill site and horizontal projection of 530 meter borehole penetrating the permafrost is show by red dot and line. Orange regions are oxidized sulfide deposits, natural acid drainage sites for future investigations.

IPTAI: Indiana-Princeton-Tennessee Astrobiology Institute - Projects preparing us for the search for life beneath the surface of Mars (sponsored by NAI/NASA)


Tunnel through 500 meter thick permafrost/rock zone at Lupin Mine in the Canadian Arctic, site of IPTAI subpermafrost brine sampling campaign.


Map of NELSAM underground laboratory and boreholes crossing the Pretorius main fault zone. Level 120 = 3.8 km below surface in Tau Tona Mine.

NELSAM: Natural Earthquake Laboratory in South African Mines - Having installed a field laboratory at 3.8 km depth, we're exploring the relationship between seismic activity and microbial diversity and activity. (sponsored by NSF-Continental Dynamics Program)


Anaerobic Biostimulation for the In Situ Precipitation and Long-Term Sequestration of Metal Sulfides (in collaboration with Geosyntec and sponsored by SERDP)

Education and Outreach:


MRO aerobraking into martian orbit.

Princeton Astrobiology Club


Washington Post Oct. 06


BEESA – Biological and Environmental Education in South Africa – Research and Education for Undergraduates (sponsored by NSF International Program)



Updated 12/16/07