past changes in the marine carbon cycle and adaptation of marine phytoplankton to CO2

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
Projects are available that continue our recent research lines in adaptation of coccolithophorid (calcifying) phytoplankton to CO2 changes in the past and present. Our research focuses on study of the degree of calcification of coccolithophore samples in the natural environment (from the water column, from very recent sediment sequences of the last few hundred years, and from long geological periods of the last ten million years) using new microscope techniques, and comparing the response of cellular calcification of populations to changes in ocean CO2 and alkalinity on a variety of timescales. We combine these with geochemical indicators of how cells allocate carbon to diagnose situations where insufficient CO2 leads to reduced carbon allocation to calcification. We also are undertaking new studies to use the chemistry of fossil diatom frustules to study past changes in trace metal limitation and in atmospheric CO2, on timescales from glacial cycles to the past tens of millions of years. Finally, projects are available that explore changes in the ocean´s carbon cycle and productivity using trace element chemistry of microfossils found in ocean sediments.
Students must be willing to learn geochemical sample preparation techniques and basic microscopic identification of diatoms or coccoliths.
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contact person first name: 
Heather Stoll
Reference Number: RP-35572