Daniel Petráš

Daniel Petráš

Geobiologist and Microbial Geochemist

Researcher ID: 0000-0001-5039-0543

Soil & Water Research Infrastructure

  • Biology Centre CAS
  • Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice
  • Czech Republic

Originally trained as a geologist, my research with SoWa-RI focuses on biogeochemical processes leading to mineral authigenesis and early diagenetic alteration in water columns and  modern sediments and how does these processes can be extrapolated to understand chemical and isotopic signatures exceptionally preserved in ancient rocks.  I integrate results from high-resolution (chemo)petrography; aqueous, whole-rock/sediment geochemistry (isotopic, minor and trace metals, biomarkers) and in situ spectroscopy into diagenetic interpretations. I also have expertise in mineral equilibrium and surface complexation modelling for studying the link between metal reactive organic matrices and minerals.

Education and Academic Positions

  • 2018 Postdoc SoWa-RI, Biology Centre CAS, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
  • 2016 PhD University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • 2010 MSc University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • 2006 BEng (Hons.) Geology, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela

Research Interests

  • Sedimentary geology and geochemistry
  • Isotopic geochemistry of the critical zone
  • Mineral authigenesis at low T geochemical disequilibrium zones
  • Bioessential trace metal cycling in pore waters and sediments
  • Spatially resolved elemental/ isotopic microanalyses of multigenic minerals
  • Dark biosphere, extremophiles and early life
  • Earth System evolution

Teaching Interests

  • Geobiology
  • Geomicrobiology
  • Microbial Geochemistry
  • Sedimentology


  • Chemical analyses of water and sediments with regard to organic and inorganic pollutants and their interactions with the natural environment

Scientific Activities

  • Reviewer for: Chemical Geology; Sedimentology; Journal of Sedimentary Research; Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta; Geobiology; Marine Geology; Lethaia; Geoscience MDPI; Minerals MDPI
  • Professional affiliations: American Geophysical Union; Geochemical Society; International Association of Sedimentologists; Geobiology Society


  • IAS PhD Research Grant Scheme, 2013
  • AGU Fall Meeting 2013’ Student Travel Award (VGP Section AGU), 2013
  • Goldschmidt Conference Student Travel Award. Geochemical Society, 2011
  • MAC Student Travel Award, Mineralogical Association of Canada, 2011
  • Gordin Kaplan Graduate Student Award. University of Alberta, 2010


Find our projects, facilities, lectures, publications, presentations, patents, grants, events and news


Iron and nitrogen cycling, bacterioplankton community composition and mineral transformations involving phosphorus stabilisation in the ferruginous hypolimnion of a post-mining lake

Lake Medard is an oligotrophic post-mining lake characterised by ferruginous bottom waters, with marked redox gradients resulting from iron (Fe)...


Microbially catalyzed dolomite formation: From near-surface to burial

Over the past century a number of models have been developed to explain the vast stratigraphic distribution of authigenic dolomite. These models...