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Photo of Meyer-Dombard, D’Arcy

D'Arcy Meyer-Dombard, PhD

Associate Professor

Geomicrobiology, Astrobiology, Microbial Ecology

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Building & Room:

2474 SES


845 West Taylor St.

Office Phone:

(312) 996-2423


Related Sites:


In the EDGElab (Ecosystem Dynamics in Geochemical Environments), we are interested in investigations and experimentation that explore the interactions between microorganisms and their environments, specifically in ecosystems that present environmental challenges. These include [but are not limited to], hydrothermal systems, high and low pH systems, systems that access the "deep, dark biosphere," and processes of biomineralization (biofilms, microbialites, microbial mats). We also think about Astrobiology and life in Early Earth environments, and how these relate to life on current Earth.

I'm also interested in microbial processes in geochemically interesting environments, focussing on interfaces between microorganisms, fluids, and minerals. This includes biogeochemical cycling in hydrothermal systems, springs tapping into the "deep" biosphere, and systems where biomineralization is occurring. I use molecular (genomic), microbiological, geochemical, and isotopic parameters to identify the metabolic strategies, nutrient/energy requirements, and geochemical signatures (lipid biomarkers) of so-called "extreme" environments. My focus over the next several years will be carbon, nitrogen, and energy cycling in hydrothermal sediment and biofilm communities, serpentinizing springs, and caves. I also have a long-standing interest in applications of Earth-analog environments in the study of Astrobiology and life in early Earth ecosystems.

Selected Publications

Complete list of publications on Google Scholar

  • Meyer-Dombard, D.R., and Malas, J. (2022) Advances in defining ecosystem functions of the terrestrial subsurface biosphere. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology, 13:891528. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.891528
  • Amend, J.P., Meyer-Dombard, D.R. (2021) The shallow-sea hydrothermal system at Vulcano Island (Italy): The ‘type locality’ for several transformative discoveries in geobiology. Italian Journal of Geosciences, 140:7-15.
  • Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Bogner, J.E., Malas, J. (2020) A review of landfill microbiology and ecology: A call for modernization with ‘next generation’ technology. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology, 11: Article 1127.
  • Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Osburn, M.R., Cardace, D., Arcilla, C.A. (2019) The effect of a tropical climate on available nutrient resources to springs in ophiolite-hosted, deep biosphere ecosystems in the Philippines. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology,
  • Vallalar, B., Meyer-Dombard D.R., Cardace, D., Arcilla, C.A. (2019) Multimetal Resistant, Alkalitolerant Bacteria Isolated from Serpentinizing Fluid-Associated Sediments and Acid Mine Drainage in the Zambales Ophiolite, the Philippines. Geomicrobiology Journal 36:792-809.
  • Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Casar, C.P., Simon, A., Cardace, D., Schrenk, M.O., Arcilla, C.A., (2018). Biofilm formation and potential for iron cycling in serpentinization-influenced groundwater of the Zambales and Coast Range Ophiolites.  Extremophiles, 22: 407-431.
  • Woycheese, K.M., Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Cardace, D., Argayosa, A., Arcilla, C. (2015). Out of the dark: Transitional subsurface-to-surface microbial diversity in a terrestrial serpentinizing seep (Manleluag, Pangasinan, the Philippines). Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 6: Article 44. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00044.
  • Schubotz, F., Hays, L.E., Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Gillespie, A., Shock, E.L., Summons, R.E. (2015). Stable isotope labeling confirms heterotrophy is a major metabolic pathway in streamer biofilm communities from alkaline hot springs. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 6: Article 42. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00042.
  • Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Woycheese, K.M., Yargıçoğlu, E.N., Cardace, D., Shock, E.L., Güleçal-Pektas, Y., Temel, M. (2015). High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimaera), Turkey. Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology. 5: Article 723. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00723.
  • Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Amend, J.P., Osburn, M.R. (2013). Microbial diversity and potential for arsenic and iron biogeochemical cycling at an arsenic-rich, shallow-sea hydrothermal vent (Tutum Bay, Papua New Guinea). Chemical Geology, 348:37-47.
  • Loiacono, S., Meyer-Dombard, D.R., Havig, J.R., Poret-Peterson, A., Hartnett, H., Shock, E.L. (2012). Evidence for high-temperature in situ nifH transcription in an alkaline hot spring of Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. Environmental Microbiology, 14:1272-1283, doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02710.x, 14:1272-1283.

Service to Community

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (DEJI) Activities

  • EaES Advancing Racial Equity action plan Committee, Chair (Nov-Dec 2021)
  • “Pod” Leader for the EaES participation in the NSF funded “Unlearning Racism in the Geosciences” (URGE) initiative (spring 2020, 16 week workshop)
  • UIC, LAS Diversity/DEI Committee member (Aug 2020 - present)
  • UIC, LAS Diversity Council member (Aug 2018 – Aug 2020)
  • Participation in workshops for inclusivity in the classroom and equity in admissions policies
    • Course: Creating an Inclusive Syllabus. Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence at UIC. Jan 6th, 2022
    • Course: Equitable Discussions in the classroom. Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence at UIC. Dec 3rd, 2021
    • Course: Equitable Review of Graduate Applications. Inclusive Graduate Education Network. Nov 17th, 2021


BA Environmental Studies Program, 1998, Washington University in St. Louis

MA Earth and Planetary Science, 2000, Washington University in St. Louis

PhD Earth and Planetary Science, 2004, Washington University in St. Louis

Postdoctoral Associate Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2005-2007, Massachusetts Institute of Technology