Stromatolites sound a bit boring, and sometimes they are, but they can be observed in present day at Shark Bay (that rhymed)! Here's a study on aaaaaaaaall the factors that shaped the morphology, survivability, and prevalence of the microbial communities that form stromatolites in this bay in the lehnd deown unda' (read as Australia, fair dinkum mate). It gives us clues as to what environments gave rise to microbial mats in the past.
(Click on UC-eLinks, then once on the site, click "Full Text" in the upper left)
P.S. The first name on the authors list sounds like he's really apologetic: E. P. Suosaari, doesn't it kind of read like "soooooo soooooorry"?