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Introduction to Geomicrobiology is a timely and comprehensive overview of how microbial life has affected Earth's environment through time. It shows how the ubiquity of microorganisms, their high chemical reactivity, and their metabolic diversity make them a significant factor controlling the chemical composition of our planet. The following topics are covered: * how microorganisms are classified, the physical constraints governing their growth, molecular approaches to studying microbial diversity, and life in extreme environments * bioenergetics, microbial metabolic capabilities, and major biogeochemical pathways * chemical reactivity of the cell surface, metal sorption, and the microbial role in contaminant mobility and bioremediation/biorecovery * microbiological mineral formation and fossilization * the function of microorganisms in mineral dissolution and oxidation, and the industrial and environmental ramifications of these processes * elemental cycling in biofilms, formation of microbialites, and sediment diagenesis * the events that led to the emergence of life, evolution of metabolic processes, and the diversification of the biosphere. Artwork from the book is available to instructors at www.blackwellpublishing.com/konhauser.