Professor

Nora Noffke

Oceanography & Physics Bldg
Norfolk, 23529

Education:
MS 1992 Geology and Paleontology, University of Tuebingen, Germany
PhD 1997 Geomicrobiology, University of Oldenburg, Germany
Postdoc 1998-1999 Biosedimentology, University of Frankfurt/M, Germany
Postdoc 1999-2001 Biosedimentology, Harvard University, USA

Employment:
1993 Thade Gerdes, Norden, Germany
1994 Landesamt Wasser und Abfall, Germany
2001-2007 Assistant Professor Old Dominion University, USA
2007-2022 Associate Professor Old Dominion University, USA
2022-present Professor Old Dominion University, USA

Ph.D. in Geomicrobiology, University of Oldenburg, (1997)

M.S. in Geology-Paleontology, University of Tübingen, (1992)

B.S. in Geology-Paleontology, University of Tübingen, (1990)

Expertise

Geology
Biofilms; Sedimentology; Paleontology

Research Interests

Nora Noffke is a sedimentologist, who has fundamentally contributed to the scientific field of biofilms and microbial mats in clastic sedimentology. Her research is highly interdisciplinary combining sedimentology with microbiology, geochemistry, paleontology and mineralogy. Microbially induced sedimentary structures occur abundantly in modern aquatic environments, but can also be found in the fossil record. Examples in 3.48 billion year old rocks in the Pilbara, Australia, constitute some of the oldest biogenic structures in Earth history. Similar structures may be detected also in equivalent rocks on other terrestrial planets such as Mars. Of interest are also complex interactions between macroscopic organisms and biofilms and the structures such interaction leaves behind in sediments. Noffke has published more than a hundred scientific papers and edited 7 special issues and books. She has authored one textbook on her research field. Noffke serves as Chair of the Subcommission on Precambrian Stratigraphy of the International Stratigraphic Commission. She acts also as editor for the Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology - Prokaryota. Together with John Stolz, Duquesne University, she has founded the Gordon Research Conference Geobiology.

Articles

Retallack, G. and Noffke, N. (2018). Are there ancient soils in the 3.7 Ga Isua Greenstone Belt, Greenland? . Paleoecology, Paleooceanography, Paleoclimatology 514 , pp. 18 - 30.
Noffke, N. (2018). Comment on the paper by Davies et al. “Resolving MISS conceptions and misconceptions: A geological approach to sedimentary surface textures generated by microbial and abiotic processes. Earth Science Reviews 176 , pp. 373-383.
Wacey, D., Noffke, N., Saunders, M., Guagliardo, P. and Pyle, D. M. Volcanogenic pseudo-fossils from ca. 3.48 Ga Dresser Formation, Pilbara, Western Australia. Astrobiology 18 , pp. 539-555.
Wacey, D., Noffke, N. and Farquar, J. (2015). Micro-scale quadruple sulfur isotope analysis of pyrite from the ~3,480 Ma Dresser Formation: new insights into sulfur cycling on the early Earth. Precambrian Research 258 , pp. 24-35.
Noffke, N. (2014). Ancient sedimentary structures in the Astrobiology 15 (2) , pp. 169-192.
Noffke, N., Christian, D., Wacey, D. and Hazen, R. M. (2013). Microbially induced sedimentary structures recording a complex microbial ecosystem in the 3.5 Ga Dresser Formation, Pilbara, Western Australia. Astrobiology 13 (12) , pp. 1-22.
Noffke, N., Decho, A. and Stoodley, P. (2013). Slime through time: The fossil record of prokaryote evolution. PALAIOS , pp. 1-3.
Noffke, N. and Awramik, S. (2013). Stromatolites and MISS: Differences between relatives. GSA Today 9 , pp. 5-9.
Cady, S. and Noffke, N. (2009). Geobiology: Evidence for early life on Earth and the search for life on other planets. GSA Today 19 , pp. 4-10.
Noffke, N. (2009). The criteria for biogeneicity of microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) in Archean, sandy deposits (with a Foreword by Lynn Margulis). Earth Science Reviews 96 (3) , pp. 173-180.
Noffke, N., Beukes, N., Hazen, R. and Swift, D. (2008). Exceptionally preserved microbial mats of Meso-Archean age: the Sinqueni Formation, Pongola Supergroup, South Africa. Geobiology 6 (1) , pp. 5-20.
Noffke, N. (2008). Turbulent lifestyle: Benthic cyanobacteria on Earth’s sandy beaches today and 3 billion years ago. GSA Today 18 , pp. 4-9.
Noffke, N. (2007). Microbially induced sedimentary structures in Archean sandstones: a new window into early life. Gondwana Research 11 (3) , pp. 336-342.
Noffke, N., Hazen, R., Eriksson, K. and Simpson, E. (2006). A new window into early life: Microbial mats in a siliciclastic early Archean tidal flat (3.2 Ga Moodies Group, South Africa). Geology 34 , pp. 253-256.
Noffke, N., Beukes, N. and Hazen, R. (2006). Microbially induced sedimentary structures in the 2.9 Ga old Brixton Formation, Witwatersrand Supergroup, South Africa. Precambrian Research 146 , pp. 35-44.
Draganits, E. and Noffke, N. (2004). Siliciclastic, domed Stromatolites from the Lower Devonian Muth Formation, NW Himalaya. Journal of Sedimentary Research 74 (2) , pp. 191-202.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G. and Klenke, T. (2003). Benthic cyanobacteria and their influence on the sedimentary dynamics of peritidal depositional systems (siliciclastic, evaporitic salty and evaporitic carbonatic). Earth Science Review 62 (1-2) , pp. 163-176.
Noffke, N., Hazen, R. and Nhleko, N. (2003). Earth’s Earliest Microbial Mats in a Siliciclastic Marine Environment (Mozaan Group, 2.9 Ga, South Africa). Geology 31 (6) , pp. 673-676.
Noffke, N. (2003). The concept of geobiological studies: the example of microbially induced sedimentary structures in physical depositional systems. Palaios 4 , pp. i-iii.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (2002). Classification of primary microbially induced sedimentary structures - reply. Journal of Sedimentary Research 72 (4) , pp. 589-590.
Noffke, N., Knoll, A. H. and Grotzinger, J. (2002). Sedimentary Controls on the Formation and Preservation of Microbial Mats in Siliciclastic Deposits: A Case Study from the Upper Neoproterozoic Nama Group, Namibia. Palaios 17 , pp. 1-12.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (2001). Microbially induced sedimentary structures indicating climatological, hydrological and depositional conditions within Recent and Pleistocene coastal facies zones (southern Tunisia). Facies 44 , pp. 23-30.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (2001). Microbially induced sedimentary structures – a new category within the classification of primary sedimentary structures. Journal of Sedimentary Research 71 (5) , pp. 649-656.
Noffke, N. (2000). Extensive microbial mats and their influences on the erosional and depositional dynamics of a siliciclastic cold water environment (Lower Arenigian, Montagne Noire, France). Sedimentary Geology 136 , pp. 207-215.
Gerdes, G., Noffke, N., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (2000). Microbial signatures in peritidal sediments – A catalogue. Sedimentology 47 , pp. 279-308.
Noffke, N. and Krumbein, W. E. (1999). A quantitative approach to sedimentary surface structures contoured by the interplay of microbial colonization and physical dynamics. Sedimentology 46 , pp. 417-426.
Noffke, N. (1999). Erosional remnants and pockets evolving from biotic-physical interactions in a Recent lower supratidal environment. Sedimentary Geology 123 , pp. 175-181.
Reineck, H. E., Gerdes, G. and Noffke, N. (1999). Physikalische Kräfte, die Rippelmarkenfelder erhalten, ehe sie versteinern. Natur u. Museum 125 , pp. 169-176.
Noffke, N. (1998). Multidirected ripple marks arising from bacterial stabilization counteracting physical rework in modern sandy deposits (Mellum Island, southern North Sea). Geology 26 (10) , pp. 879-882.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (1997). A microscopic sedimentary succession indicating the presence of microbial mats in siliciclastic tidal flats. Sedimentary Geology 110 , pp. 1-6.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (1997). Biofilm impact on sedimentary structures in siliciclastic tidal flats. Cour. Forsch.-Inst. Senckenberg 20 , pp. 297-305.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. (1996). Microbially induced sedimentary structures - examples from modern sediments of siliciclastic tidal flats. Zbl. Geol. Paläont 1995 (H.1/2) , pp. 307-316.
Noffke, N. and Nitsch, E. (1994). Sedimentology of Lower Ordovician clastic shelf deposits, Montagne Noire (France). Géologie de la France 4 , pp. 3-9.

Books

Noffke, N. (2010). Microbial Mats in Sandy Deposits from the Archean Era to Today. Springer Verlag.

Book Chapters

Cabrol, N., Grin, E., Zippi, P., Noffke, N. and Winter, D. (2018). Evolution of Altiplanic Lake at the Pleistocene/Holocene Transition: A Window into Early Mars Declining Habitability, Changing Habitats, and Biosignatures From Habitability to Life on Mars Elsevier.
Noffke, N. (2010). A Modern Perspective on Ancient Life: Microbial Mats in Sandy Marine Settings from the Archean Era to Today Early Life Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Publishing.
Noffke, N. (2007). Microbially indiced sedimentary structures (MISS) of Early and Middle Archean ages – Pongola Supergroup, Witwatersrand Supergroup, Moodies Group (South Africa) Atlas of mat-related sedimentary structures Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.
Noffke, N. (2005). Geobiology – a holistic scientific discipline Geobiology: Objectives, Concepts and Perspectives. - Palaeoclimatology, Palaeooceanography, Palaeoecology (pp. 1-2) Elsevier.
Noffke, N. (2003). Bacteria in sediments Encyclopedia of sediments and sedimentary rocks (pp. 37-39).
Noffke, N. (2003). Epibenthic cyanobacterial communities counteracting sedimentary processes within siliciclastic depositional systems (present and past) Biofilms through space and time (pp. 265-280) Congress Proceedings, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Noffke, N. (2003). Microbially induced sedimentary structures: formation and application to sedimentology Encyclopedia of sediments and sedimentary rocks (pp. 439-441).
Gerdes, G., Krumbein, W. E. and Noffke, N. (2000). Evaporite Microbial Sediments Microbial sediments (pp. 196-208) Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Publishing.

Presentations

Alvarado, A. G., Hale, R. and Noffke, N. ( 2018). Detection of Microplastic Contamination in Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia. Poster AGU Washington, D.C.
Noffke, N. (August , 2017). Possible (or not) microbialites in sandstones of the
Noffke, N. ( 2016). Analogues of terrestrial MISS in sandstones of the
Noffke, N. and Hagadorn, J. ( 2016). Microscopic life underfoot of dinosaurs: Microbial mat facies in the Cretaceous South Platte Formation, Dakota Group, Colorado, USA. Oral Presentation Geological Society of America GSA Denver, CO.
Noffke, N. ( 2015). Possible (or not) microbialites in the Gillespie Lake Member, Mars. Oral Presentation Geological Society of America GSA Baltimore, MD.
Noffke, N. ( 2015). Possible (or not) microbialites in the Gillespie Lake Member, Mars. Oral Presentation NASA AbSciCon Houston, TX.
Wacey, D., Noffke, N., Saunders, M., Kong, C., Cliff, J. B., Barley, M. E. and Farquhar, J. ( 2014). A 3480 Ma pyritised microbial mat, Dresser Formation, Western Australia. Oral Presentation Goldschmidt Conference Sacramento, CA.
Noffke, N. ( 2014). Microbially induced sedimentary structures from the 3.48 Ga Dresser Formation, Western Australia. Poster Gordon Research Conference Geobiology Ventura, CA.
Noffke, N., Wacey, D., Hazen, R. and Christian, D. ( 2012). A microbial ecosystem in an ancient sabkha of the 3.49 Ga Pilbara, Western Australia, and comparison with Mesoarchean, Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic examples. Oral Presentation Geological Society of America GSA Charlotte, NC.
Noffke, N. ( 2012). Daedalus halli: a fossil biofilm harvester from the Lower Arenigian, Montagne Noire, France. Oral Presentation Geological Society of America GSA Charlotte, NC.
Noffke, N., Hazen, R. and Christian, D. ( 2011). Earth’s earliest ecosystem: microbial life in the 3.5 Ga Dresser Formation, Pilbara, Western Australia. Oral Presentation GSA Annual Meeting Minneapolis, MN.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). A new Geosite ‘Earth’s Oldest Cyanobacteria’ in the White Mfolozi Inlier Geopark, South Africa. Oral Presentation 3rd International Paleontological Congress London, England.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). Biofilm-Catenae in Siliciclastic Tidal Flats and Their Biostabilization Properties. Oral Presentation 3rd International Paleontological Congress London, England.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). Turbulent Life Style: Benthic Cyanobacteria on Earth’s Sandy Beaches from the Archean to Today. Oral Presentation 3rd International Paleontological Congress London, England.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures – Signs of Life in Archean to Modern Sandy Settings. Oral Presentation 5th International Archean Symposium Perth, Australia.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). A Modern Perspective on Ancient Life: The Question of the Rise of Cyanobacteria in Earth History. Oral Presentation First International Conference on Geobiology Wuhan, China.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). Biofilm-Catenae in sandy tidal flats and their influence on physical sediment dynamics. Oral Presentation First International Field Conference on Martian Sedimentology Utah.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). Sediment-stabilizing biofilm-catenae in sandy tidal flats. Oral Presentation NASA Astrobiology Conference AbSciCon 2010 Houston, TX.
Noffke, N. ( 2010). The search for life in the aquatic sandy deposits of Mars: The criteria for biogeneicity of microbially induced sedimentary structures. Oral Presentation NASA Astrobiology Conference AbSciCon 2010 Houston, TX.
Noffke, N. ( 2009). Turbulent Lifestyle: Benthic Cyanobacteria on Earth’s Sandy Beaches – 3 Billion Years ago to Today. Oral Presentation International Symposium on Paleoproterozoic Earth Calcutta, India.
Noffke, N. ( 2009). The sedimentary ecology of benthic cyanobacteria in modern and Archean tidal flats. Oral Presentation Pardee Keynote Symposium “Earth et al.: The evolution of our planets from the Hadean to Today”, GSA Portland, Oregon.
Noffke, N. and Konhauser, K. ( 2009). Earth et al. – The evolution of life and environment from the Hadean to today. Oral Presentation Pardee Keynote Symposium, GSA Portland, Oregon.
Noffke, N. ( 2009). Turbulent Lifestyle: Benthic Cyanobacteria on Earth’s Sandy Beaches – 3 Billion Years ago to Today. Oral Presentation SLIC Latin-American Symposium on Ichnology Sao Leopoldo, Brazil.
Noffke, N. ( 2008). Microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS). Oral Presentation AESC Perth, Australia.
Noffke, N. ( 2008). Microbial-physical interactions: the earliest cyanobacteria in Earth history? Oral Presentation GSA Houston, TX.
Noffke, N., Bower, D., Hazen, M. R. and Cabrol, N. ( 2007). MISS on Mars – Biosignatures in sandy deposits on Earth and beyond. Oral Presentation AAPG Annual Meeting Long Beach, CA.
Noffke, N., Bower, D. and Hazen, R. M. ( 2007). Microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) – Biosignatures in sands and sandstones. Oral Presentation Symposium on The Solar Stew, GSA Denver, CO.
Noffke, N. ( 2006). A different perspective on early life: mat-related sedimentary structures from siliciclastic tidal flats of Archean ages. Oral Presentation Pardee Keynote Symposium on Early Earth, GSA Philadelphia, PA.
Noffke, N. ( 2005). Microbially induced sedimentary structures as sequence stratigraphic tools in siliciclastic deposits. Oral Presentation Topical Session in honour of Don Swift’s 70th birthday; GSA Salt Lake City, UT.
Noffke, N. ( 2005). Reading the Record of the rocks: Resolving the Tectonic and Eustatic Signals in Stratigraphic successions. Oral Presentation Topical Session in honour of Don Swift’s 70th birthday; GSA Meeting Salt Lake City, UT.
Bower, D. and Noffke, N. ( 2004). Investigations by Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy on modern microbial mats, and comparision with 2.9 Ga old bacterial textures from the Pongola Supergroup, South Africa. Oral Presentation GSA Denver, CO.
Noffke, N., Beukes, N. and Gutzmer, J. ( 2004). The significance of ‘microbially induced sedimentary structures – MISS’ for the sequence stratigraphy of siliciclastic deposits of the 2.9 Ga old Witwatersrand Supergroup, South Africa. Oral Presentation GSA Denver, CO.
Bower, D. and Noffke, N. ( 2004). Microbial mats in coastal habitats of the moderate climate zone - a case study from Fishermans Island, Virginia. Oral Presentation NE GSA-meeting Washington, D.C.
Noffke, N. ( 2004). 'Microbially induced sedimentary structures – MISS’ and the survivor species concept. – in: Soja, C. & Riding, R. : Adversity, advantages, opportunities: Phanerozoic stromatolites as ‘survivor’ vs. ‘disaster’ taxa. Oral Presentation Pardee Keynote Symposium, GSA Denver, CO.
Noffke, N. ( 2002). Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) as paleoclimate indicators. In: Symposium Modern and ancient tidal flats reflecting environmental and climate changes for past and future (Noffke, N.) Oral Presentation GSA Meeting Denver, CO.
Noffke, N. ( 2002). Topical Session: Modern and ancient tidal flats reflecting environmental and climate changes for past and future. Oral Presentation GSA Meeting Denver, CO.
Noffke, N. ( 2002). Geobiologie: Fragen, Konzept und Perspektiven. Oral Presentation Treffen gefoerderter Nachwuchswissenschaftler Deutsche Akademie der Naturwissenschaften Leopoldina, Halle/Saale.
Noffke, N., Knoll, A. H. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 2001). Microbially induced sedimentary structures: a key to understand biotic-physical processes in siliciclastic depositional environments. Oral Presentation AAMS Oldenburg, Germany.
Noffke, N. ( 2001). Epibenthic cyanobacterial communities in the context of sedimentary processes within siliciclastic depositional systems (present and past). Oral Presentation Microbial Mat Meeting II Hanse-Institut Oldenburg, Germany.
Noffke, N. and Knoll, A. H. ( 2001). Sedimentary Parameters controlling occurrence and preservation of microbial mats in siliciclastic depositional systems. Oral Presentation NASA Astrobiological Insitute; Carnegie Institution Washington, D.C.
Noffke, N. ( 2001). Biosedimentology of siliciclastic depositional systems. Oral Presentation Pardee Keynote Symposium “Geobiology: its application to sedimentary geology” at GSA Annual Meeting Boston, MA.
Noffke, N. and Knoll, A. H. ( 2001). Geobiology: its application to sedimentary geology. Oral Presentation Pardee Keynote Symposium, GSA Boston, MA.
Krumbein, W. E., Gorbushina, A. and Noffke, N. ( 2001). On the geomicrobiology of evaporites – a geophysiological outlook on planetary evolution. Oral Presentation Symposium on Evaporite Sediments; GSA Meeting Boston, MA.
Krumbein, W. E., Gorbushina, A. and Noffke, N. ( 2001). On the geomicrobiology of evaporites – a geophysiological outlook on planetary evolution. Oral Presentation Symposium on Evaporite Sediments; GSA Meeting Boston, MA.
Noffke, N. ( 2001). Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures – a new category within the classification of primary sedimentary structures. Oral Presentation Symposium: Dynamics of Sediments and Sedimentary Environments GSA Meeting Boston, MA.
Noffke, N. ( 2000). Microbially induced sedimentary structures – a new category within the classification of primary depositional phenomena. Oral Presentation GSA Meeting 2000 Reno, NV .
Noffke, N. ( 1999). Extensive microbial mats in the Lower Arenigian (Ordovician) of the Montagne Noire, France. Oral Presentation Association of Sedimentology (IAS) Copenhagen, Denmark.
Noffke, N. ( 1999). Ancient microbial mats and their influence upon the depositional system (Lower Arenigian, Montagne Noire, France). Oral Presentation GSA-Meeting Denver, CO.
Noffke, N. ( 1999). Significance of benthic cyanobacteria for the sedimentology of siliciclastic shallow-marine sediments. Oral Presentation International Association of Sedimentology (IAS) Copenhagen, Denmark.
Noffke, N. ( 1999). Die Bedeutung benthischer Prokaryonten für die Allgemeine Sedimentologie der Siliziklastika. Oral Presentation “Sediment `99” Bremen, Germany.
Noffke, N. ( 1999). Microbial mat systems in Ordovician siliciclastics, Montagne Noire, France. Oral Presentation “Sediment `99” Bremen, Germany.
Noffke, N. ( 1998). Das Untere Arenig der Synform von Roquebrun, Montagen Noire, Frankreich. Oral Presentation “Sediment `98” Erlangen, Germany.
Noffke, N. ( 1998). Environmental requirements for microbial mat formation in Recent tidal systems. Oral Presentation “Sediment `98” Erlangen, Germany.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 1997). A microscopic sedimentary succession indicating the presence of microbial mats in siliciclastic tidal flats. Oral Presentation “Sediment 97” Köln, Germany.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 1997). Oberflächenmuster in biostabilisierten Wattsedimenten. Oral Presentation “Sediment 97” Köln, Germany.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 1996). Degree of microbial impact on sediment dynamics of the tidal flats of Mellum Island, North Sea. Oral Presentation “Sediment 96” Wien, Austria.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 1996). Mikrobiell induzierte Sedimentstrukturen - rezente und fossile Beispiele aus dem Küstenraum Südtunesiens. Oral Presentation “Sediment 96” Wien, Austria.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 1995). M.I.S.S. Microbially induced sedimentary structures. Oral Presentation “Sediment 95” Freiburg, Germany.
Noffke, N., Gerdes, G., Klenke, T. and Krumbein, W. E. ( 1995). Mikrobiell induzierte Sedimentstrukturen – Beispiele aus den Wattsedimenten der Insel Mellum. Oral Presentation “Sediment 95” Freiburg, Germany.
  • 2020: College of Science Distinguished Teaching Award, Old Dominion University
  • 2014: AAAS Fellow, AAAS
  • 2010: Award for Outstanding Contributions to Geobiolology, GSA Division for Geobiology
  • 2007: Fellow of the Geological Society of America, Geological Society of America
  • 2007: James Lee Wilson Award for Marine Geology, Society for Sedimentary Geologists SEPM