Dylan Wilmeth


Wilmeth Headshot

146 Padnos Hall of Science
One Campus Drive
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Office Telephone: (616)-331-2995
Office Fax: (616)-331-3740
Electronic Mail: [email protected]


B.S. Geology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2013)

Ph.D. Geology, University of Southern California (2018)


Grand Valley State University, Geology Department, Visiting Assistant Professor (2022-present)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer, Brest, France (2020-2022)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France (2018-2020)


Co-Chair, Gordon Research Symposium in Geobiology, Oxnard, CA (2020-2022)

Treasurer, Geological Society of America GBGM Division (2023-present)

Review Panelist, NASA Future Investigators Research Grant (2021)

Workshop Leader, “Creating New Microbialite Databases”, Paris, France (2021)

Public Science Outreach, “Bedrock: A Podcast on Earth’s Earliest History” (2022-present)

Wilmeth Field Shot


GEO 100: Environmental Geology

GEO 103: Oceans

GEO 111: Exploring the Earth


As a geobiologist, my research examines microbial communities throughout Earth history, from Earth’s oldest fossils to modern bacteria. I mainly study fossilized microbial colonies known as stromatolites. Stromatolites are Earth’s oldest evidence for life, are the most abundant fossils for 90% of Earth history, and are still forming today, providing unparalleled opportunities to examine life over time. Stromatolites also preserve aspects of ancient environments including changing sea levels and traces of ancient chemistry. My research uses stromatolites to answer major questions about Earth’s history, including the rise of oxygen, how life recovered from mass extinctions, and how the oldest life became preserved in the first place.



Examining stratigraphy and carbon isotopes of stromatolites in the Kona Dolomite, Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the 2.2 Ga Lomagundi-Jatuli Event

Evaluating oxidizing conditions using iron isotopes and cerium anomalies on a 2.8 Ga carbonate platform, Steep Rock Lake, Ontario, Canada

Measuring silicification of modern microbial mats and Pleistocene sinters in the Chilean Andes



Patry, L.A., Bonnand, P., Boyet, M., Afroz, M., Wilmeth, D.T., Ramsay, B., Nonnotte, P., Homann, M., Sansjofre, P., Fralick, P.W., Lalonde, S.V. Archean origins of oxygenic photosynthesis confirmed by La-Ce geochronology. Nature (in review)

Wilmeth, D.T., 2024. Occurrence and biogenicity of Archean stromatolites and microbial mats. The Archean Earth- 2nd Edition (in review)

Wilmeth, D.T., Berelson, W.M., Beukes, N., Awramik, S.M., Petryshyn, V.A., Spear, J.R., Celestian, A.J., Mahseredjian, T., & Corsetti, F.A., 2022 Evidence for benthic oxygen production in Neoarchean lacustrine stromatolites. Geology 50, 907-911

Wilmeth, D.T., Myers, K.D., Lalonde, S.V., Mänd, K., Konhauser, K.O., Grandin, P., van Zuilen, M.A., 2022. Evaporative silicification in floating microbial mats: patterns of oxygen production and preservation potential in silica-undersaturated streams. Geobiology 20, 310-330

Gong, J., Munoz-Saez, C., Wilmeth, D.T., Myers, K.D., Skok, J.R., & van Zuilen, M.A., 2021. Morphogenesis of digitate structures in hot spring silica sinters of the El Tatio geothermal field, Chile. Geobiology 20, 137-155

Wilmeth, D.T., Nabhan, S., Myers, K.D., Slagter, S., Lalonde, S.V., Sansjofre, P., Homann, M., Konhauser, K.O., Munoz-Saez, C. and van Zuilen, M.A., 2020. Depositional evolution of an extinct sinter mound from source to outflow, El Tatio, Chile. Sedimentary Geology, p.105726

Shapiro, R.S., Wilmeth, D.T., 2020. Treatise Online no. 134: Part B, Volume 1, Chapter 8: Microbialites. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology

Wilmeth, D.T., Corsetti, F.A., Beukes, N.J., Awramik, S.M., Petryshyn, V., Spear, J.R., Celestian, A.J., 2019. Neoarchean (2.7 Ga) lacustrine stromatolite deposits in the Hartbeesfontein Basin, Ventersdorp Supergroup, South Africa: Implications for oxygen oases. Precambrian Research 320, 291–302

Wilmeth, D.T., Johnson, H.A., Stamps, B.W., Berelson, W.M., Stevenson, B.S., Nunn, H.S., Grim, S.L., Dillon, M.L., Paradis, O., Corsetti, F.A., Spear, J.R., 2018. Environmental and biological influences on carbonate precipitation within hot spring microbial mats in Little Hot Creek, CA. Frontiers in Microbiology 9

Fedorchuk, N.D., Dornbos, S.Q., Corsetti, F.A., Isbell, J.L., Petryshyn, V.A., Bowles, J.A., Wilmeth, D.T., 2016. Early non-marine life: Evaluating the biogenicity of Mesoproterozoic fluvial-lacustrine stromatolites. Precambrian Research 275, 105–118

Wilmeth, D.T., Corsetti, F.A., Bisenic, N., Dornbos, S.Q., Oji, T., Gonchigdorj, S., 2015. Punctuated growth of microbial cones within early Cambrian oncoids, Bayan Gol Formation, Western Mongolia. Palaios 30, 836–845

Corsetti, F.A., Ritterbush, K.A., Bottjer, D.J., …Wilmeth, D.T., 2015. Investigating the Paleoecological Consequences of Supercontinent Breakup: Sponges Clean Up in the Early Jurassic. The Sedimentary Record 13, 4–10

Wilmeth, D.T., Dornbos, S.Q., Isbell, J.L., Czaja, A.D., 2014. Putative domal microbial structures in fluvial siliciclastic facies of the Mesoproterozoic (1.09 Ga) Copper Harbor Conglomerate, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA. Geobiology 12, 99–108



Wilmeth, D.T., Fralick, P.W., Riding, R., Lalonde, S.V. (2023). A Mesoarchean oxygen oasis expanded: new trace element and stable isotope data from the 2.8 Ga Mosher Carbonate, Steep Rock Lake, Canada. GSA Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA; Goldschmidt Annual Meeting, Lyon, France

Wilmeth, D. T., Lalonde, S.V., Berelson, W.M., Petryshyn, V.A., Celestian, A.J., Beukes, N., Awramik, S.M., Spear, J.R., Mahseredjian, T., Corsetti, F.A. (2022). Stromatolites as lacustrine oxygen oases 2.7 Ga: synthesizing textural biosignatures and redox proxies. Goldschmidt Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI; Gordon Geobiology Conference, Galveston, TX

 Wilmeth, D.T., Nabhan, S, Myers, K.D., Slagter, S., Lalonde, S.V., Sansjofre, P., Homann, M., Konhauser, K.O., Munoz-Saez, C., van Zuilen. M.A. (2020). Stratigraphy of an extinct sinter mound from source to outflow, El Tatio, Chile. Gordon Geobiology Symposium, Galveston, TX

Wilmeth, D.T., Myers, K.D., Lalonde, S.V., Mand, K., Konhauser, K.O., Grandin, P., & van Zuilen, M.A. (2019). Oxygen and pH gradients within silicifying microbial mats in El Tatio, Chile. (Invited Talk: Geobiology Conference, Banff, AB, Canada)

Page last modified February 21, 2024