Yi Liang Li
Assistant Professor of Astrobiology, Department of Earth Sciences
Hong Kong University,
Yi-Liang Li obtained a Ph.D. degree in Geochemistry from the University of Science & Technology of China in 1999. Soon after that, he jumped to a totally new field Geobiology when he moved to Missouri for his post-doctoral study (2000-2003), where he investigated biomineralizations induced by diverse microbial metabolisms. From 2003 on, he found great interests in Astrobiology and joined the Princeton-Indiana-Tennessee NASA Astrobiology Institute to study the biogenic minerals in the deep, hot biosphere of Earth. In 2007, he moved to Hong Kong and developed an Astrobiology group in the University of Hong Kong. His teaching interest is the cosmic, planetary, and geological evolutions toward life and the early biosphere; and his research interest is the high resolution mineral records of the origin of life and the evolution of the early biospheres on Earth.
I am interested in the high resolution mineral records of the ecophysiology of microorganisms thrived in the Precambrian biospheres. Carbonate, phosphate, sulfide, sulfates, iron oxides and even some silicates precipitated with the mediation of microbes have subtle crystallographic differences from those of abiotic geneses. The comparison of biogenic minerals produced in the laboratory and those observed in sedimentary rocks allows a peer of the early evolution of microbial worlds back in deep geological time.