The Pearson lab has pioneered the use of natural radiocarbon (14C) measurements of individual biomolecules to understand the biogeochemical processes mediated by uncultured communities of prokaryotes. More recently, members of the Pearson group also have focused their attention on the emerging field of "lipidomics", or the complementary use of metagenomic and genetic approaches to deciphering the origins of biomarker lipids of importance to geology.