University of California, Riverside

Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center

Alternative Earths Team Members

Noah Planavksy

Noah J. Planavksy
Institutional Principal Investigator


Dept. of Geology and Geophysics,
Yale University

Research Interests

I study the connections between the evolution of Earth-system processes, biological innovation, and ecosystem change—foremost in Earth’s early history. My research integrates field, petrographic, and geochemical work. The protracted rise of oxygen over several billion years dramatically changed Earth’s surface environments. However, our current picture of Earth’s redox evolution is still painted with only broad strokes. A central theme of my research has been trying to piece together the history and effects of Earth’s oxygenation. With that end goal in mind, I am currently working on coupling paleoredox proxies in Precambrian sedimentary rocks, calibrating novel metal isotopes systems in modern aqueous systems, and untangling the distribution and diagenetic history of traces metals in sedimentary rocks.


Planavsky, N. J., Asael, D., Hofmann, A., Reinhard, C. T., Lalonde, S. V., Knudsen, A., Wang, X., Ossa, F. O., Pecoits, E. and Smith, A. J., 2014, Evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis half a billion years before the Great Oxidation Event: Nature Geoscience, v. 7, p. 283-286.

Planavsky, N. J., Bekker, A., Hofmann, A., Owens, J. D. and Lyons, T. W., 2012, Sulfur record of rising and falling marine oxygen and sulfate levels during the Lomagundi event: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, v. 109, p. 18300-18305.

Planavsky, N. J., McGoldrick, P., Scott, C. T., Li, C., Reinhard, C. T., Kelly, A. E., Chu, X. L., Bekker, A., Love, G. D. and Lyons, T. W., 2011, Widespread iron-rich conditions in the mid-Proterozoic ocean: Nature, v. 477, p. 448-U495. 

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center
2460 Geology

Tel: (951) 827-3106

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