Marine biologist probes diatom sediment for climate change clues
The record of climate change on the Earth can be partially found in the layer of algae diatoms on the ocean floor. A leading researcher and educator will speak on campus this week about what these single-celled organisms have to
"Diatom Oozes: Archives of Past Climate Change and Habitats for Microbial Life" will be presented by Dr. Ivan Aiello of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California at 3:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 19) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater.
Aiello's talk is part of the 20th Annual Distinguished Lecturer Series of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, whose mission is to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. The consortium asked the University to host Aiello's lecture because of the success of BGSU's marine and aquatic biology program, said Dr. Michael McKay, biology.
Since their appearance in the oceans more than 150 million years ago, diatoms have played a fundamental role in regulating the Earth's climate. Diatoms rely on sunlight, nutrients and silica to grow; they record these conditions in their skeletons, and their remains accumulate on the ocean floor.
Aiello uses diatom deposits to reconstruct past changes in ocean conditions and works with microbiologists to investigate life in deeply buried marine sediments. He has sailed on two Ocean Drilling Program expeditions.
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