Nobel Laureate Abel Laureate Advisory Board Member USERN President USERN Policy Making Council USERN Manager USERN Deputy Junior Ambassador

Major: Physics

Timothy Lyons is a Distinguished Professor of Biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, where he has been on the faculty since 2005. Tim’s primary research interests are astrobiology, geobiology, biogeochemical cycles through time, ancient climate, Earth history, and the search for life beyond our solar system. Tim helped steer the new NASA Astrobiology Roadmap and now leads the ‘Alternative Earths’ team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center at UC Riverside.

He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geochemical Society, and the European Association of Geochemistry and a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award. He was the 2016 Ingerson Lecturer of the Geochemical Society. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research, the University of Queensland, the University of Tasmania (Comet Fellow), the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Fellow, Hanse Institute of Advanced Study), the first Agassiz Lecturer at Harvard University, a Leverhulme Fellow at Cambridge University, the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, a Hugh Kelly Fellow at Rhodes University in South Africa, and most recently at Yale University.

Dr. Lyons has served in nine editorial positions, including a long-standing affiliation with Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, and he has served on advisory boards with the American Geological Union and Cambridge University Press and as a guest editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He received a B.S. with honors in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, an M.S. in geology from the University of Arizona, and an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in geology/geochemistry from Yale University, followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan.

Prof.  Timothy W.  Lyons is an American top 1% scientist in the field of Geology Geochemistry. His current work explores the evolving ocean and atmosphere and their cause-and-effect relationships with the origin and evolution of life. Biogeochemical processes that dominate modern and ancient carbonate platforms and oxygen-deficient marine basins are at the heart of this research. As team leader of one of the newest science teams selected to join the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), much of his current research focuses on astrobiology. The team has been awarded nearly $8 million over 5 years to answer these unifying questions: How has Earth remained persistently inhabited through most of its dynamic history, and how do those varying states of inhabitation manifest in the atmosphere? How might that perspective inform our search for life elsewhere within and beyond our solar system?

Top Publications

  • Low marine sulphate and protracted oxygenation of the Proterozoic biosphere. Nature, 2004, Cited by242
  • Trace metals as paleoredox and paleoproductivity proxies: an update. Chemical geology,2006, Cited by 809
  • A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event?. Science, 2007, Cited by 446
  • Tracing the stepwise oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean. Nature, 2008, Cited by 414
  • Molybdenum isotope evidence for widespread anoxia in mid-Proterozoic oceans. Science, 2004, Cited by 376
  • A stratified redox model for the Ediacaran ocean. Science, 2010, Cited by235
  • Late Archean biospheric oxygenation and atmospheric evolution. Science, 2007, Cited by232
  • The rise of oxygen in Earth/'s early ocean and atmosphere. Nature, 2014, Cited by220



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