Dr. Jeremiah Shuster


Fac picAssistant Professor
Ph.D. Western University, 2013
Office: BGS 0164
Lab: BGS 0074
Phone: 519 661-2111 x.86989
Fax: 519 661-3198
Email: jshuste3@uwo.ca  

Research Interests

  • Geomicrobiology of gold and other precious/critical metals
  • Applied geomicrobiology for resource sustainability
  • Biomineralization

Geomicrobiology is an interdisciplinary field bridging geology and microbiology. Here, in the Department of Earth Science at Western, geomicrobiology can contribute to research in economic geology, environmental sciences, or astrobiology. As a geomicrobiologist, I am interested in how the lithosphere can support microbial life and my current research focuses on how microbes influence (precious) metal biogeochemical cycling in natural or engineered environments. For example, studying gold grain structure, chemistry, and the bacterial communities that live on gold grains helps determine how microbes contribute to gold mobility and dispersion within varied environments. Applications of this research includes the development of innovative technologies for mineral exploration or recovery from “waste” materials such as mine tailing or end-of-life electronics. My other research interests include topics related to the habitability of “extreme” environments (e.g., acidophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria), microfossil preservation (e.g., terrace iron formations), and biogenic rock formation (e.g., microbialites). I have a strong interest in scanning and transmission electron microscopy and integrate these analytical techniques into my research. Electron images (micrographs) provide a wealth of information linking biological or mineralogical structures to biogeochemical processes that occur at the nanometer to micrometer scale. For examples of my microscopy work please see my Twitter (@JeremiahShuster). My approach to research integrates site specific studies with laboratory- or field-scale experiments and employs a multi-analytical approach. I have enjoyed working with multiple international collaborators from diverse disciplines and I am keen to continue these endeavours at Western. Please feel free to contact me regarding any potential collaborative research opportunities.

Selected Publications

For a complete listing, see Google Scholar.


  • Sanyal, S.K. & Shuster, J. (2021) Gold particle geomicrobiology: Using viable bacteria as a model for understanding microbe-mineral interactions. Mineralogical Magazine 85: 117-124. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.19
  • Sanyal, S.K., Delport, P.W.J., Dixon, R. Etschmann, B., Brugger, J., Tearle, R., Ludington, A., Pederson, S.M., Reith, F. & Shuster, J. (2020) Metal resistant bacteria on gold particles: Implications of how anthropogenic contaminants could affect natural gold biogeochemical cycling. Science of the Total Environment 727, 138698. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138698
  • Rea, M.A.D., Brugger, J., Etschmann, B., Okrugin, V. & Shuster, J. (2021) Gold particles from Kamchatka: A brief look at gold biogeochemical cycling in a distinct environment. Mineralogical Magazine 85: 68-75. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.17
  • Shuster, J., Reith, F., Cornelis, G., Parsons, J.E., Parsons, J.M. & Southam, G. (2017) Secondary gold structures: Relics of past biogeochemical transformations and implications for colloidal gold dispersion in subtropical environments. Chemical Geology 450, 154-164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.12.027
  • Shuster, J. & Southam, G. (2015) The in-vitro “growth” of gold grains. Geology 43, 79-82. https://doi.org/10.1130/G36241.1
  • Shuster, J., Bolin, T., MacLean, L.C.W. & Southam, G. (2014) The effect of iron-oxidising bacteria on the stability of gold (I) thiosulphate complex. Chemical Geology 376, 52-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.03.017


  • Shuster, J., Reith, F., Izawa, M.R.M., Flemming, R.L., Banerjee, N.R. & Southam, G. (2017) Biogeochemical cycling of silver in acidic, weathering environments. Minerals 7, 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/min7110218 


  • Fiskal, A., Shuster, J., Fischer, S., Joshi, P., Raghunatha, L., Wulf, S.E., Kapper, A., Fischer, H., Herrig, I. & Meier, J. (2023) Microbially influenced corrosion and rust tubercle formation on sheet piles in freshwater systems. Environmental Microbiology, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.16393
  • Thomas-Arrigo, L.K., Notini, L., Shuster, J., Nydegger, T., Vontobel, S., Fischer, S., Kappler, A. & Kretzschmar, R. (2022) Mineral characterisation and composition of Fe-rich flocs from wetlands of Iceland: Implications for Fe, C, and trace element export. Science of the Total Environment 816, 151567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151567
  • Shuster, J., Rea, M.A.D., Etschmann, B., Brugger, J. & Reith, F. (2018) Terrace iron formations: Biogeochemical processes contributing to microbial biomineralization and microfossil preservation. Geoscience 8, 480. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120480


  • EARTHSCI 3369B: Geomicrobiology
  • INTEGSCI 1001X: Exploring Science

Future Students

I have worked in three different university systems: Canadian, Australian, and German. While there are commonalities, these experiences have also helped me identify strengths and weaknesses in the differing approaches to student education and training. I strongly support vocational elements of student-led research projects. Therefore, I am looking for students who are independent (within guidance) and keen to develop their practical skills. With my supervision and mentorship, students will typically be required to collect their own data, perform their own data analysis, and synthesize results to develop sound interpretations. If you have any questions or interest in potential undergraduate or graduate research opportunities, please email at jshuste3@uwo.ca. Additionally, as a biracial member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, I value respect, equity, diversity, and inclusion in my laboratory. In my research group, we work together as a team to support the goals of each member.