Our academic lecture today was delivered by Stella Alexandroff, a research fellow at the University of Exeter. Stella, who is working towards her PhD in Ocean Sciences visited to share her research into the changing marine conditions and the impact this has on the shells of marine organisms.
Much like the rings in tree trunks, seashells contain layers of calcium carbonate laid down each year – by examining the precise composition of each layer it is possible to get very precise measurements for marine temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, pH levels and much else besides.
Climatologists are able to use this information to improve their models for future climate change and to provide the most reliable predictions for future climate conditions.
Our students were amazed at how much information can be gleaned from a simple shell and a number who were already considering a career in marine biology or ocean sciences have been further inspired to consider this career option.
We would like to thank Stella for giving up her valuable time to deliver this lecture, without the support from academics like her our students wouldn’t be able to see the real life applications of the topics they are studying in lessons.