Predating cincinnati

Faculty maintain high-tech laboratories and conducts field work all over the world, and our students are involved every step of the way.

Recent geology research from the University of Cincinnati presents new evidence for bacteria found fossilized in two separate locations in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

“These bacteria existed two billion years before plants and trees, which evolved about 450 million years ago.

We discovered these microfossils preserved in a layer of hard silica-rich rock called chert located within the Kaapvaal craton of South Africa.” With an atmosphere of much less than one percent oxygen, scientists have presumed that there were things living in deep water in the mud that didn’t need sunlight or oxygen, but Czaja says experts didn’t have any direct evidence for them until now.

Participants in 2014 field excursion to collect fossils near the town of Kuruman in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

From L to R: Clark Johnson, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Aaron Satkoski, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Nicolas Beukes, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Breana Hashman, University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Kira Lorber, University of Cincinnati.