Dr David Wacey
- Contact details
The University of Western Australia (M010)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
- +61 8 6488 8074
- Personal homepage
- Room 1.61, Physics Building, Perth campus
- BA DPhil Oxf.
- I am an ARC Future Fellow researching the origin and evolution of life. I obtained my D.Phil. from Oxford University in 2004 studying the effects of sulfate-reducing bacteria on biomineralization. My current research focuses on morphological, chemical and isotopic tracers of primitive Archean life, using cutting edge techniques such as NanoSIMS and Transmission Electron Microscopy. I am also the author of an introductory textbook on Archean life entitled ‘Early Life on Earth: A Practical Guide’.
- Key research
- My research seeks to elucidate how and when life originated on Earth and whether it could have originated on other planets such as Mars. Within this framework, I am part of a multidisciplinary team based jointly at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis and the School of Earth & Environment.
- I use a variety of research tools, including field based mapping and sample collection in Australia, optical and electron microscopy, state of the art computer based imaging, microbiology and high resolution geochemistry.
- 3 Books, 11 book chapters and 32 journal articles including:
Brasier, M., Antcliffe, J., Saunders, M., and WACEY, D. (2015) Changing the picture of Earth’s earliest fossils (3.5-1.9 Ga) with new approaches and new discoveries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112 (16), 4859-4864.
WACEY, D., Kilburn, M.R., Saunders, M., Cliff, J.B., Kong, C., Liu, A.G., Matthews, J.J., and Brasier, M.D. (2015) Uncovering framboidal pyrite biogenicity using nano-scale CNorg mapping. Geology 43, 27-30.
WACEY, D., Saunders, M., Roberts, M., Menon, S., Green, L., Kong, C., Culwick, T., Strother, P. and Brasier, M.D. (2014) Enhanced cellular preservation by clay minerals in 1 billion-year-old lakes. Nature Scientific Reports 4, 5841; DOI:10.1038/srep05841.
Pacton, M., WACEY, D., Corinaldesi, C., Tangherlinin, M., Kilburn, M.R., Gorin, G.E., Vasconcelos, C. and Danovaro, R. (2014) Viruses as a new agent of organomineralization in the rock record. Nature Communications 5, 4298 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5298.
WACEY, D., Mcloughlin, N., Kilburn, M.R., Saunders, M., Cliff, J., Kong, C., Barley, M.E. and Brasier, M.D (2013) Nano-scale analysis reveals differential heterotrophic consumption in the ~1.9 Ga Gunflint Chert. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110 (20), 8020–8024.
McLoughlin, N., Grosch, E.G., Kilburn, M.R. and WACEY, D. (2012) Sulfur isotope evidence for a Paleoarchean sub-seafloor biosphere, Barberton, South Africa. Geology 40, 1031–1034.
Weber, K.A., Spanbauer, T.L., WACEY, D., Kilburn, M.R., Loope, D.B. and Kettler, R.M. (2012) Biosignatures link microorganisms to iron mineralization in a paleoaquifer. Geology 40, 747-750
Pacton, M., Ariztegui, D., WACEY, D., Kilburn, M.R., Rollion-Bard, C., Farah, R. and Vasconcelos, C. (2012) Going Nano: A new step towards understanding the processes governing freshwater ooid formation. Geology 40, 547-550.
WACEY, D., Kilburn, M.R., Saunders, M., Cliff, J. and Brasier, M.D. (2011) Microfossils of sulfur metabolizing cells in ~3.4 billion year old rocks of Western Australia. Nature Geoscience 4 (10), 698-702
WACEY, D., McLoughlin, N., Whitehouse, M.J. and Kilburn, M.R. (2010) Two co-existing sulfur metabolisms in a ca. 3,400 Ma sandstone. Geology 38 (12), 1115-1118.
WACEY, D. (2009) Early Life on Earth: a practical guide. Springer Science and Business Media, 274p.
WACEY, D., Wright, D.T. and Boyce, A.J. (2007) A stable isotope study of microbial dolomite formation in the Coorong region, South Australia. Chemical Geology 244, 155-174.
McLoughlin, N., Brasier, M.D, WACEY, D, Green, O.R. and Perry, R.S. (2007) Formulating Biogenicity Criteria for Endolithic Microborings on Early Earth and Beyond. Astrobiology 7, 10-26.
Brasier, M.D., McLoughlin, N., Green, O.R. and WACEY, D. (2006) A fresh look at the fossil evidence for early Archaean cellular life. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 361, 887-902.
Wright, D.T. and WACEY, D. (2005) Precipitation of dolomite using sulphate-reducing bacteria from the Coorong Region, South Australia: significance and implications. Sedimentology 52, 987-1008.
- Previous positions
- Postdoctoral research associate, Oxford University, UK (2005-2008)
University Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UWA (2008-2011)
Research Fellow, University of Bergen (2011-2013)
Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems, UWA (2013-14)
- Current external positions
- Editorial Board of Nature Scientific Reports
Editorial Board of Geobiology
- Current projects
- 1. Remarkable preservation of Precambrian organic material
2. Linking ancient, modern and potential extra-terrestrial biosignatures
3. Nano-signatures of microbial life in volcanic ecosystems
4. Investigation of life in a 3.5 billion-year-old sandstone
5. Life in the Proterozoic - Gunflint and Torridon biotas
- Research profile
Research profile and publications