The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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David Wacey

Asst/Prof David Wacey

Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Contact details
The University of Western Australia (M010)
35 Stirling Highway
Personal homepage
Room 1.61, Physics Building, Crawley campus
BA DPhil Oxf.
I am a University Postdoctoral Research Fellow researching the origin and evolution of life. I obtained my D.Phil. from Oxford University in 2004 studying the effects of sulfate-reducing bacteria on biomineralization. My current research focuses on morphological, chemical and isotopic tracers of primitive Archean life, using cutting edge techniques such as NanoSIMS and Transmission Electron Microscopy. I have recently authored a new introductory textbook on Archean life entitled ‘Early Life on Earth: A Practical Guide’, released in 2009.
Key research
My research seeks to elucidate how and when life originated on Earth and whether it could have originated on other planets such as Mars. Within this framework, I am part of a multidisciplinary team based jointly at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation & Analysis and the School of Earth & Environment.
I use a variety of research tools, including field based mapping and sample collection in Australia, optical and scanning electron microscopy, state of the art computer based imaging, microbiology and high resolution geochemistry.
WACEY, D. (2009) Early Life on Earth: a practical guide. Springer Science and Business Media, 274p.

WACEY, D., McLoughlin, N. and Brasier, M.D. (2008) The search for windows into the earliest history of life on Earth and Mars. In: Seckbach, J. and Walsh, M. (Eds.) From Fossils to Astrobiology: Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology 11, pp 39-68.

WACEY, D., Kilburn, M.R., McLoughlin, N., Parnell, J., Stoakes, C.A. and Brasier, M.D. (2008) The enigma of ambient inclusion trails and biological activity in a ~3400 Ma sandstone. Journal of the Geological Society of London 165, 43-53.

WACEY, D., Kilburn, M.R., Stoakes, C.A., Aggleton, H. and Brasier, M.D. (2008) Ambient inclusion trails: Their recognition, age range and applicability to early life on Earth? In: Dilek, Y., Furnes, H. and Muehlenbachs, K. (Eds.) Links Between Geological Processes Microbial Activities & Evolution of Life, Springer, 113-134.

WACEY, D., Wright, D.T. and Boyce, A.J. (2007) A stable isotope study of microbial dolomite formation in the Coorong region, South Australia. Chemical Geology 244, 155-174.

McLoughlin, N., Brasier, M.D, WACEY, D, Green, O.R. and Perry, R.S. (2007) Formulating Biogenicity Criteria for Endolithic Microborings on Early Earth and Beyond. Astrobiology 7, 10-26.

WACEY, D., McLoughlin, N., Green, O.R., Parnell, J. Stoakes, C.A. and Brasier, M.D. (2006) The ~ 3.4 billion-year-old Strelley Pool Sandstone: a new window into early life on Earth. Int. J. Astrobiology 5, 333-342.

Brasier, M.D., McLoughlin, N., Green, O.R. and WACEY, D. (2006) A fresh look at the fossil evidence for early Archaean cellular life. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 361, 887-902.

Wright, D.T. and WACEY, D. (2005) Precipitation of dolomite using sulphate-reducing bacteria from the Coorong Region, South Australia: significance and implications. Sedimentology 52, 987-1008.

Perry, R. S., Kolb, V. M., Philip, A. I., Lynne, B. Y., McLoughlin, N., Sephton, M., WACEY, D. and Green, O. R. (2005) Making silica coatings in the lab: synthetic desert varnish. In: Hoover, R. B., Levin, G. V., Rozanov, A. Y. and Randall Gladstone, G. (Eds) Astrobiology and Planetary Missions: Proc. S.P.I.E. 5906, pp 265-275.

Wright, D.T. and WACEY, D. (2004) Sedimentary dolomite: a reality check. In: Braithwaite, C.J.R., Rizzi, G. & Darke, G. (Eds) The geometry and petrogenesis of dolomite hydrocarbon reservoirs. Spec. Pub. Geol. Soc. Lon. 235, 65-74.
Previous positions
Postdoctoral research associate, Oxford University, UK (2005-2008)
Current projects
1. Linking ancient, modern and potential extra-terrestrial biosignatures
2. Nano-signatures of microbial life in volcanic ecosystems
3. Investigation of life in a 3.5 billion-year-old sandstone
4. Stromatolites as proxies of early life on Earth
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Monday, 1 October, 2012 4:15 PM