Northeastern Geobiology Symposium 2016

The Northeastern Geobiology Symposium is an annual daylong conference organized between the northeastern universities to encourage interaction, strengthen existing ties and build new collaborations in the Geobiology community. In particular, this conference is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to meet collaborators as well as for undergraduate students to meet prospective graduate advisors. The topics of interest will broadly revolve around the themes of environmental geomicrobiology and the co-evolution of life and environment through geological time.


Please register here to confirm your attendance and submit the abstract (see below for more details.) There is no registration fee; however, we require an advance notice of attendance for catering.

Abstract Submission

If you would like to present your work, please submit an abstract (300 word limit) through the registration page (link posted above) by March 31, 2016. All attendees are encouraged to submit abstracts for poster or oral presentations, but this is not a requirement for attendance.

Talks and Posters

Talks should be 15 minutes in length with 5 minutes for questions. Please bring your presentation on a USB stick during breakfast on the morning of the symposium to upload to you talk. We will have a Mac and PC for Powerpoint presentations, but we recommend you save your presentation as a PDF in order to minimize the risk of display or formatting problems.

Posters should be no larger than 3’ tall x 4’ wide, tape and thumbtacks will be provided. Please proceed to the Northwest Science Building (see the walking map in the Directions below) to set up your poster at 4:30pm (after the afternoon talks). The boards will be numbered and you can hang your poster on the board corresponding to your poster number in the program, which can be found below.

Schedule and Program

The symposium will be held on Friday the 29th of April, 2016 by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University. The event will begin at 9:00 am with breakfast at 8am, followed by presentations at 9am and will continue until 8pm with breaks for coffee, lunch, poster session and dinner.

Please note listed below specific locations for the reception, talks, poster session and dinner:

  • Reception: light food and beverages will be provided
    • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, April 28, 2016
    • 4th Floor, Hoffman Lab, 20 Oxford St (see below for directions)

  • Talks:
    • 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 29, 2016 (with breakfast at 8am and lunch at 12pm--Food Court at the Science Plaza. Please remember to bring your lunch voucher. See the map of the Science Plaza for direction)
    • 1st Floor, Geological Lecture Hall Rm 100, Geological Museum, 24 Oxford St (see below for directions)

  • Posters: followed by dinner
    • 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, April 29, 2016
    • Basement of the Northwest Science Building, 52 Oxford St (see below for directions)

The full program and schedule is available here.


The department of Earth and Planetary Science, Hoffman Lab and Geological Museum Building (the one with stoops, to the right of the Harvard Natural History Museum) is located at 20/24 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA.

  • Go to bottom of this page for Google Map/directions
  • For reception on Thursday night: take the elevator up to 4th floor of Hoffman Lab (20 Oxford St) and follow the signs "2016 NE Geobiology Symposium."
  • For talks on Friday: enter the Geological Museum (the building with the stoops, adjacent to the Hoffman Lab), the Lecture Hall is on the right.
  • For poster session/dinner: see this walking map for direction

Parking Information

  • On-Street metered parking: There are limited 2-hour metered spaces available on Oxford and Kirkland Streets (these meters only accept US quarters).
  • Commercial Garages: There are also commercial parking garages in Harvard Square; however, the Department cannot validate parking for those businesses.
  • University Day-Permit Parking: Limited parking is available for department visitors in nearby University-operated parking garages. Day permits can be purchased up to two weeks in advance, whether online (please read "Purchasing a Parking Pass Online" section below) or in person at the Campus Service Center, Holyoke Center 8th floor, 1350 Massachusetts Ave., Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.
  • Purchasing a Parking Pass Online: A limited number of Daily Visitor Parking Permits are available for purchase online. Daily permits are $16.00. All major credit cards are accepted, and all sales are final (no refunds or exchanges). Before proceeding to the online form, please note the following:
    • If you are a first-time user, you will need to register by creating a user name and password.
    • Please have your car's license plate number ready; or, for rental cars, please use: EPS-Geobio
    • Garage: we recommend requesting a permit for the 52 Oxford Street Garage (52OX).
    • Select the date of the permit--be sure to select the correct date (permits are not transferable).
    • Choose the Earth and Planetary Sciences's department from a drop down list.
    • Enter the Department of Earth and Planetary Science's department Code: 3027
    • Online Parking Permit Purchase System


Please see here for a list of recommendations.

Also, we have held a block of rooms for Thursday (4/28) and Friday (4/29) nights at the following locations:

Best Western Tria Fresh Pond (220 Alewife Brook PKWY, Cambridge, MA): $199 per night plus tax

This hotel is located ~2 miles from Harvard campus, near the Fresh Pond rotary in Cambridge. They offer a free shuttle to Harvard Square and the Alewife Red Line MBTA T (subway) station, and complimentary parking, wi-fi and hot breakfast daily. There is not much nightlife near the hotel, but it is close to Fresh Pond, which is a great place to take a run.  To reserve the room, please call the hotel directly at 617-491-8000 on or before March 28 and mention that you are part of the "NE Geobiology Group Room Block" to receive group rate.

Boston Marriott Cambridge (50 Broadway, Cambridge, MA): $ 224 per night plus tax

This hotel is located ~2.2 miles from Harvard campus, near the Kendall Red Line MBTA T (subway) station and is close to many restaurants and bars. Marriott does not offer a shuttle, but you can take the Red Line to Harvard Square. Hotel on-site parking is $40/night. To receive the group rate, please call Marriott Reservations directly at 1 (800) 228-9290 or (617) 494-6600on or before Friday, April 8 and mention that you are part of other "Northeastern Geobiology Room Block Group" staying at the Boston Marriott Cambridge, located at 50 Broadway, Cambridge, MA; or, go here to reserve a room on-line.


For any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us:

Prof. David Johnston (Faculty Mentor)


We thank the Agouron Institute, the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, the Paleontological Society, and the MIT NASA Astrobiology team for supporting the 2016 Northeastern Geobiology Symposium.