Biology & Paleo Environment Events

For upcoming seminars, see our calendar here.

Current Seminar Organizers: Cassaundra Rose and Samuel Phelps

Our new seminar day and time: Mondays at 12 pm, Comer Seminar Room

SPECIAL SEMINAR: Wednesday August 27th @ 11:00 am, Comer Seminar Room, Dr. Fulvio Boatta, University of Palermo. Visiting scientist at LDEO. Host: Joaquim Goes.

"Can acidification influence the accumulation of trace metals in marine organisms?"


Ocean acidification (OA) may alter the behavior of sediment-bound metals, modifying their bioavailability and thus toxicity. Since increasing atmospheric CO2 over the next 200 years will cause a pH decrease in ocean water, and consequently change the organic and inorganic speciation of metals in surface ocean waters, and it will effect on their interaction with marine species.

For this study we used a unique natural laboratory for OA; Vulcano Island, Italy (38°25’01.44”N, 14°57’36.29”E). Here we studied the geochemical characteristics of seawater in the Baia di Levante area. Eh and pH were greatly affected by the main vents. The pH displayed a clear gradient from 5.65 at the main gas vents increasing to 8.1. Calcite and aragonite saturation in the bay is achieved only in the northern part where pH values exceed respectively 7.5 and 7.6. Calculated enrichment factors (EF) for trace metals in general show that in general we can considered V as not so enriched, Fe and Mn as very enriched. A transplant mussel experiment in acidic condition (natural seawater respectivly) was conducted and, after one month exposure mussel (Mytilus gallorpovincialis) had accumulated Fe and V. Geochemical approach is fundamental in this field, and biota accumulation should always be matched with geochemical survey in their habitat in order to better understand the bio-accumulation dynamics.

Future Talks:

Monday September 8, 12 pm: Dr. Chris Brierley, UCL. Host: Peter deMenocal

Monday September 15, 12 pm: Jessica Moerman, PhD Student at Georgia Tech, "Improving tropical paleoclimate interpretations by monitoring modern water isotopes". Host: Maureen Raymo

Monday September 22, 12 pm: Sloan Coats, PhD Candidate LDEO

Monday September 29, 12 pm: Dr. Natalie Burls, Postdoctoral Associate, Yale, "A cloud albedo control on ocean temperature gradients and implications for early Pliocene warmth". Host: Heather Ford

Monday October 6, 12 pm: Open Seminar Slot

Monday October 13, 12 pm: Dr. Liz Corbett, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, LDEO. Host: Dorothy Peteet

Monday October 20, 12 pm: Dr. Tammo Reichgelt, University of Otago, New Zealand, "Seasonal climatic gradients of Early Miocene New Zealand". Host: Billy d'Andrea

Monday October 27, 12 pm: Dr. Paola Moffa Sanchez, Rutgers University. Host: Billy d'Andrea


Additional talks can be seen on the google calendar.