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Dr. Emerson is a general microbiologist with an emphasis in geomicrobiology. Specifically, he studies neutrophilic, oxygen-dependent iron-oxidizing bacteria in environments as varied as undersea volcanoes, shipwrecks of archeological interest, and the rhizosphere of wetland plants. The purposes of these studies range from understanding the potential for these organisms to exist on other planets, to determining the role they may play in corrosion of steel, to analyzing their influence on other biogeochemical cycles that affect greenhouse gas emissions. Another interest is in the culture and archival maintenance of the vast diversity of marine microbes.