Biology & Paleo Environment Events

Current BPE seminar organizing committee: Lorelei CurtinFrancesco MuschitielloJan-Erik Tesdal

Time and Location: Mondays at 1 pm, Comer Seminar Room


Next seminar:

03/27/17: Hilary Palevsky, WHOI

"The influence of winter ventilation on the biological pump and ocean carbon uptake" 


Photosynthetic fixation of organic carbon and export of a fraction of that organic carbon from the surface to the deep ocean – the biological pump – plays a key role in enabling the ocean to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. However, the controls on the rate and efficiency of this biological carbon export and its overall influence on the ocean carbon sink remain poorly constrained. In her doctoral research, Hilary Palevsky used geochemical measurements collected on sixteen container ship transects between Hong Kong and Long Beach, CA to estimate the rate and efficiency of biological carbon export and to evaluate the drivers of CO2 uptake across 8,000 kilometers in the North Pacific basin over the full annual cycle. This analysis showed that winter ventilation can strongly influence the rate and efficiency of carbon sequestration via the biological pump, with up to 90% of seasonally exported carbon respired below the seasonal mixed layer depth and ventilated back to the atmosphere by deep winter mixing in the Kuroshio region of the western North Pacific. This work further showed that that mechanistic coupling between biological carbon export and ocean uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere is sensitive to the seasonal timing of biological export and ventilation, as well as the magnitude of export. In this seminar, Dr. Palevsky will summarize the key findings of her dissertation and discuss her current postdoctoral research, which uses earth system model output to investigate the global influence of winter ventilation on the biological pump and biogeochemical sensor data from the Ocean Observatories Initiative to evaluate the connection between export and ventilation in the high latitude ocean.


Spring 2017:

Date Speaker Title
Jan 23rd Gerry Rustic
Means and Extremes: ENSO variability over the last 1000 (and 100,000) years from individual foraminifera
Jan 30th Karina Shäfer
Methane and carbon dioxide dynamics in mitigated and non-mitigated urban tidal wetlands
Feb 6th Joshua Spodek
Leadership, Science, Climate, and Human Behavior
Feb 13th no talk  
Feb 20th Senjie Lin
SEND (sex, energy, nutrients, defense): a power toolkit for dinoflagellates to thrive
Feb 27th Pratigya Polissar
The Boring Millions? Vegetation, Atmospheric CO2, and Climate Revolutions of the Late Miocene
Mar 6th Jennifer Marlon
Global Paleofire and Northeast Regional Paleoclimate: Insights from Syntheses of Sediment Records
Mar 13th Sam Phelps
Dissertation Proposal
Mar 20th Katie Snell
Hot and high times in the western US: Paleoclimate and Paleoelevation, 80 Ma to Present
Mar 27th Hilary Palevsky
The influence of winter ventilation on the biological pump and ocean carbon uptake
Apr 3rd Andrew Griffith
Stony Brook
Apr 10th Matt Harke
Apr 17th Kyle Frischkorn
Apr 21st Daven Henze
Apr 24th Jennifer Hertzberg
May 5th Pam McElwee
May 8th Jennifer Cherrier
Brooklyn College