Palash Kumawat

Palash Kumawat

M.Sc. Palash Kumawat

GEO Room 5320
Klagenfurter Straße 2-4
28359 Bremen, Germany

Phone: +49 421 218 65405

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I’m a biogeochemist studying fluid-microbe-mineral interactions at shallow subduction settings, and in ancient serpentinites from similar paleo-environments; investigating their role in harboring chemosynthetic life in extreme environments. Geofuel emissions like H2 and CH4 produced during low-temperature fluid interactions and pervasive serpentinization in ultramafic rocks have been suggested to be cardinal in harboring chemosynthetic life. Serpentinization is an ancient process, where the places of serpentinization are modern analogs of the primordial Earth. Serpentinization and its reaction products must have provided chemical disequilibria, redox potential, and a highly alkaline environment. The serpentinizing environment and essential precursor biomolecules must have served as a prebiotic soup from life to emerge! This knowledge can also be applied to analogous environments on other celestial bodies, thereby extending our understanding of extreme environments beyond Earth.

I employ various petrological, and geochemical methods to asses serpentinization-related redox states and quantify H2 and CH4 productions in these systems. My interest also lies in Reaction-Path and Bioenergetics modeling to investigate fluid mixing scenarios and shed light on the bio-availability of these geofuels.

I use tools like molecular lipid biomarker analysis to characterize and study extremophilic microbial communities and microbial physiological responses to environmental changes.

Curriculum vitae

Scientific career

since Jan. 2023PhD student in the research group Petrology of Ocean Crust at the University of Bremen
Nov. 2022MSc. degree in "Marine Geosciences", Bremen University
2019-2022MSc. "Marine Geosciences" at Bremen University
Juni 2019BSc. degree in "Geology" at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University, India


  • Three-part image with the view up to the smokestack of the research vessel Meteor and the smoke-shrouded sky on the left, the yellow, remote-controlled underwater vehicle MARUM SQUID on the hook of the ship's crane being lowered into the water and the logo of the expedition in the center, and the view of the deserted foredeck of the ship with the island of Milos at sunset in the background on the right.

    2023: M192/2 (Hellenic island arc)

    Piraeus (Greece) - Limassol (Cyprus) / 08.08.2023 - 05.09.2023

  • Three-part image with a metal frame structure hanging from the hook of the ship with sensors inside on the left side, the logo of the expedition and an aerial view of the research ship Sonne next to a pilot boat in the middle and an image taken from the shore of the research ship Sonne with vegetated mountain ridges in the background on the right side.

    2022: SO292/2 (Mariana Forearc, Pacific Ocean)

    Nouméa (New Caledonia) - Dutch Harbor (USA) / 24.06.2022 - 21.07.2022

  • Three-panel image with a rosette water sampler being lowered into the water on the left, the R/V Merian expedition logo and view of the research vessel's foredeck at sunset in the center, and a metal rack of sediment samplers being lowered into the water on the right.

    2020: MSM96 (Porcupine Abyssal Plain, North Atlantic Ocean)

    Emden (Germany) - Emden (Germany) / 10.10.2020 - 10.11.2020


  • Menapace W, Behrendt N, Cornard P, Dmello G, Dörner S, Felgendreher M, Fleischmann T, Henningsen A, Ichiyama Y, Kinne S, Krug A, Kumawat P, Lauster B, Lütjens M, Matzerath P, Stavrakoudis S, Takamizawa S, Von Kieckebusch C, Witzleb A, Xu S, Zawadzki D, Zhang J (2023): Characterization and monitoring of serpentinite mud volcanoes’ fluid/solid emissions in the Mariana Forearc (Cruise No. SO292/2), Cruise Report, 134 p.,doi:10.48433/cr_so292_2.



  • Kumawat P, Schubotz F, Bach W, Albers E (2022): Characterizing chemosynthetic microbial communities in abyssal serpentinites: a lipid biomarker approach. MARUM Ocean Floor Symposium “Understanding element ­fluxes – processes and budgets, Bremen (Poster)
  • Kumawat P, Albers E, Wörmer L, Wendt J, Bach W, Schubotz F (2023): Characterizing chemosynthetic microbial communities in abyssal serpentinites: a lipid biomarker approach. Identifying future perspectives to link modern and ancient environments in the search for biosignatures, Tübingen University, Tübingen, Germany (Poster)
  • Kumawat P (2023): Serpentinization, Hydrogen & Life: Insights into modern & ancient serpentine mud volcanism. Bremen PhD Days in Marine Sciences, Vis­sel­hövede, Germany (Talk)





Master Thesis

  • Kumawat P (2022): Characterization of microbial lipid patterns in serpentinite seafloor deposits. Master Thesis, Bremen University