Leslie Robbins

Assistant Professor, Ph.D.
Department Head

Office: CW 234.7
E-mail: Leslie.Robbins@uregina.ca (research and teaching); geol.head@uregina.ca (Departmental Head correspondence)
Phone: 306-337-2124
Website: https://www.lesliejrobbins.com/

Current classes
Geol240 - Earth System History, Geol270 - Earth Resources and the Environment, Geol307 - Geochemistry, Geol476 - Principles of Groundwater Flow

Research interests
Geobiology; Geochemistry; Earth Systems Evolution; Biogeochemical Cycling; Chemostratigraphy

Dr Leslie Robbins is a geobiologist and the Department of Geology Department Head (2023-2026).

B.Sc.  (University of Alberta), M.Sc. (University of Alberta), Ph.D. (University of Alberta)

Expertise and areas of study:

Dr. Leslie Robbins’ expertise is primarily in the field of geobiology low-temperature aqueous geochemistry. His research involves using the geochemistry of chemical sediments (e.g., banded iron formations) and siliciclastics (e.g., shales) to examine how the chemistry of Earth’s surface environments have evolved, in tandem with life, over the last 4 billion years. Additional areas of interest include the cycling of major and trace elements in modern and ancient environments, as well as particle surface reactivity and bioremediation.

Prior to joining the University of Regina, Dr. Robbins was a Donnelley Environmental Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University (2018-2020).

Current projects:

1) Chemostratigraphic insights on the evolution of surface environments and life over Earth's history using high-resolution sampling to look at the trace element contents of banded iron formations and shales in Archean to Paleoproterozoic successions. This work is aimed at elucidating new insights into the availability and controls (weathering, environmental oxygenation, tectonics) on trace elements in Earth’s ancient oceans and the implications for the evolution of life. This work is supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant.

2) Rare earth elements in secondary sources in the western Canadian sedimentary basin – I am interested in looking at rare earth element contents in subsurface brines, coals, and coal fly-ash and the associated geological and mineralogical controls.

Selected recent publications:

Boden, J.S., Konhauser, K.O., Robbins, L.J., and Sánchez-Baracaldo, P. (2021) Timing the evolution of antioxidant enzymes in cyanobacteria. Nature Communications 12: 4742.

Schad, M., Halama, M., Robbins, L.J., Warchola, T.J., Tejada, J., Kirchhof, R., Lalonde, S.V., Swanner, E.D., Planavksy, N.J., Thorwarth, H., Mansor, M., Konhauser, K.O., and Kappler, A. Phosphate remobilization from banded iron formations depends on metamorphic mineral transformations. Chemical Geology 584: 120489.

Liu, H., Konhauser, K.O., Robbins, L.J., and Sun, W. (2021) Global continental volcanism controlled the evolution of the oceanic nickel reservoir. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 572: 117116.

Li, W.-J., Peng, Z.-D., Dong, Z.-G., Zhang, B.-L., Gao, B.-Y., Zhang, L.-C., Robbins, L.J.., and Konhauser, K.O. (2021) Direct Re-Os dating of manganese carbonate ores and implications for the formation of the Ortokarnash manganese deposit, northwest China. Economic Geology – in press, doi: 10.5382/econgeo.4865.

Mänd, K., Lalonde, S.V., Paiste, K., Thoby, M., Lumiste, K., Robbins, L.J., Kreitsmann, T., Romashkin, A.E., Kirsimäe, K., Lepland, A., and Konhauser, K.O. (2021) Iron isotopes reveal a benthic iron shuttle in the Paleoproterozoic Zaonega Formation: Basinal restriction, euxinia, and the effect on global paleoredox proxies. Minerals 11, 368.

Tong, X., Wang, C., Peng, Z., Li, Y, Hao, W., Mänd, K., Robbins, L.J., Zhang, L., Ke, Q., Zhai, M., and Konhauser, K.O. (2021) Depositional and environmental constraints on the late Neoarchean Dagushan deposit (Anshan-Benxi area, North China Craton): An Algoma-type banded iron formation. Economic Geology, in press. doi: 10.5382/econgeo.4841

Wang, C., Reinhard, C.T., Rybacki, K.S., Hardisty, D.S., Ossa Ossa, F., Wang, X., Hofmann, A., Asael, D., Robbins, L.J., Zhang, L., and Planavsky, N.J. (2021) Chromium isotope systematics and the diagenesis of marine carbonates. Earth and Planetary Sciences 562, 116824.

Tong, X., Mänd, K., Li, Y., Zhang, L., Peng, Z., Wu, Q., Li, P., Zhai, M., Robbins, L.J., Wang, C., and Konhauser, K.O. (2021) Iron and carbon isotope constraints on the formation pathway of iron-rich carbonates within the Dagushan iron formation, North China Craton. Minerals ­11, 94.

Yang, X., Mao, J., Zhang, Z., Robbins, L.J., Planavsky, N.J., Jiang, Z., Duan, S., and Chen, Z. (2021) Episodic ferruginous conditions associated with submarine volcanism led to the deposition of a Late Carboniferous iron formation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 292: 1–23.

Robbins, L.J. and Konhauser, K.O. (2021) Geobiology and Geomicrobiology. In: Encyclopedia of Geology, 2nd Edition, Elsevier. pp. 554-568.

Zhang, B.-L., Wang, C.-L., Robbins, L.J., Zhang, L.-C., Konhauser, K.O., Dong, Z.-G., Li, W.-J., Peng, Z.-D., and Zheng, M.-T. (2020) Petrography and geochemistry of the Carboniferous Ortokarnash manganese deposit in the western Kunlun Mountains of Zinjiang Province, China: implications for the depositional environment and mineralization. Economic Geology 115: 1559-1588.

Yan, H., Pi, D.-H., Jiang, S.-Y., Hao, W., Cui, H., Robbins, L.J., Mänd, K., Li., L., Planavsky, N.J., and Konhauser, K.O. (2020) Hydrothermally induced 34S enrichment in pyrite as an alternative explanation of the Late-Devonian sulfur isotope excursion in South China. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 283: 1-21.

Planavsky, N., Robbins, L.J., Kamber, B.S., and Schoenberg, R. (2020) Weathering, Alteration, and Reconstructing Earth’s Oxygenation. Interface Focus 10: 20190140.

Mänd, K., Lalonde, S.V., Robbins, L.J., Thoby, M., Paiste, K., Kreitsmann, T., Paiste, P., Reinhard, C.T., Romashkin, A.E., Kirsimäe, K., Planavsky, N.J., Lepland, A., and Konhauser, K.O. Paleoproterozoic oxygenated oceans after the Lomagundi-Jatuli Event. Nature Geoscience 13: 302–306.

Yan, H., Pi, D.-H., Jiang, S.-Y., Hao, W., Mänd, K., Robbins, L.J., Li, L., and Konhauser, K.O. (2020) New constraints on the onset age of the Emeishan LIP volcanism and implications for the Guadalupian mass extinction. Lithos 360–361: 105441.

Konhauser, K.O., Hao, W., Li, Y., von Gunten, K., Bishop, B.A., Alessi, D.S., Tarhan, L.G., O’Connell, B., Robbins, L.J., Planavsky, N.J., and Gingras, M.K. (2020) Diopatra cuprea burrow parchment: A cautionary tale of infaunal surface reactivity. Lethaia 53: 47-61.

von Gunten, K., Bishop, B., Enriquez, I.P., Alam, M.S, Blanchard, P., Robbins L.J., Feng, R., Konhauser, K.O., and Alessi, D.S. (2019) Colloidal transport mechanisms and sequestration of U, Ni, and As in two meromictic mine pit lakes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 265: 292-312.

Hao, W., Flynn, S.L., Kashiwabara, T., Alam, M.S., Bandara, S., Swaren, L., Robbins, L.J., Alessi, D.S., and Konhauser, K.O. (2019) The impact of ionic strength on the proton reactivity of clay minerals. Chemical Geology 529: 119294.

Robbins, L.J., Funk, S., Flynn, S.L., Warchola, T.J., Li, Z., Lalonde, S.V., Rostron, B., Smith, A.J.B., Beukes, N.J., de Kock, M.O., Heaman, L.M., Alessi, D.S., and Konhauser, K.O. (2019) Hydrogeological constraints on the formation of Palaeoproterozoic banded iron formations. Nature Geoscience 12: 558-563.

Bishop, B.A., Flynn, S.L., Warchola, T.J., Alam, M.S., Robbins, L.J., Owttrim, G.W., Alessi, D.S., and Konhauser, K.O. (2019) Adsorption of biologically critical trace metals to the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002: Implications for marine trace metal cycling. Chemical Geology 525, 28-36.

Chi Fru, E., Somogyi, A., El Albani, A., Medjoubi, K., Aubineau, J., Robbins, L., Lalonde, S.V., and Konhauser, K. (2019) The rise of oxygen-driven arsenic cycling ~2.48 Gyr ago. Geology 47: 243-246.

Li, Z., Zhang, L., Xue, C., Zhu, M., Zheng, M., Robbins, L.J., and Konhauser, K.O. (2019) Genesis of the Neoproterozoic-Early Cambrian banded iron ore-bearing sedimentary rocks in the Jiertieke-Zankan iron ore belt, West Kunlun Orogenic Belt, Xinjiang (NW China). Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 173: 143-160.

Robbins, L.J., Konhauser, K.O., Warchola, T.J., Homann, M, Thoby, M, Foster, I., Mloszewska, A.M., Alessi, D.S., and Lalonde, S.V. (2019) A comparison of bulk versus laser ablation trace element analyses in banded iron formations: Insights into the mechanisms leading to compositional variability. Chemical Geology 506, 197-224.

Warchola, T.J., Lalonde, S.V., Pecoits, E., Robbins, L.J., Alessi, D.S., Philippot, P., and Konhauser, K.O. (2018) Petrological and geochemical analyses of the Boolgeeda Iron Formation, Hamersley Basin, Western Australia. Precambrian Research 316: 155-173.

Mao, R., Cheng, X., Mao, Z., Guan, Q., Chen, X., Li, Z., Robbins, L.J., and Konhauser, K.O. (2018) Hydrocarbon potential and biomarker assemblages of Paleogene source rocks in the Cangdong sag, Bohai Bay Basin, China. Geochemical Exploration 194: 9-18.

Li, Z., Zhang, L.C., Xue, C.J., Zheng, M.T., Zhu, M.T., Robbins, L.J., Slack, J.F., Planavsky, N.J., and Konhauser, K.O. (2018) Iron-rich chemical sediments imply ferruginous conditions in the early Cambrian ocean. Scientific Reports 8: 9970.

Konhauser, K.O., Robbins, L.J., Alessi, D.S., Flynn, S.L., Gingras, M.K., Martinez, R.E., Kappler, A., Swanner, E.D., Li, Y-L., Crowe, S.A., and Lalonde, S.V. (2018) Marine photoferrotrophs contribute trace elements to banded iron formation. Geological Society of America Bulletin 130: 941-951.

Alam, M.S., Swaren, L., von Gunten, K., Cossio, M., Bishop, B., Robbins, L.J., Hou, D., Flynn, S.L., Ok, Y.S., Konhauser, K.O., and Alessi, D.S. (2018) Application of surface complexation modeling to trace metals uptake by biochar-amended agricultural soils. Applied Geochemistry 88: 103-112.

Playter, T., Corlett, H., Konhauser, K., Robbins, L., Rohais, S., Crombez, V., MacCormack, K., Rokosh, D., Prenoslo, D., Furlong, C.M., Pawlowicz, J., Gingras, M., Lalonde, S., Lyster, S., and Zonneveld, J-P. (2018) Clinoform identification and correlation in fine-grained sediments: a case study using the Triassic Montney Formation. Sedimentology 65: 263-302.

Konhauser, K.O., Planavsky, N.J., Hardisty, D.S., Robbins, L.J., Warchola, T.J., Haugaard, R., Lalonde, S.V., Partin, C.A., Oonk, P.B.H., Tsikos, H., Lyons, T.W., Bekker, A., and Johnson, C.M. (2017) Iron Formations: a global record of Neoarchaean to Palaeoproterozoic environmental history. Earth-Science Reviews 172: 140-177.

Robbins, L.J., Lalonde, S.V., Planavsky, N.J., Partin, C.A., Reinhard, C.T., Kendall, B., Scott, C., Hardisty, D.S., Gill, B.C., Alessi, D.S., Dupont, C.L., Saito, M.A., Crowe, S.A., Poulton, S.W., Bekker, A., Lyons, T.W., and Konhauser, K.O. (2016) Trace elements at the intersection of marine biological and geochemical evolution. Earth-Science Reviews 163: 323-348.