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Boundary layers and Biominerals

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Catherine Pearson.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Catherine Pearson.

To book an in-person seat at the seminar this Thursday please use the link below – please note that once the number is reached you will not be able to register but will be able to watch via the Zoom link at the bottom of this email. There will also be a selection of individually wrapped sandwich lunches for everyone who is attending in-person.

Face coverings are expected to be worn on arrival at the BPI Institute AND during the seminar and in all communal areas. Face coverings should only be removed once you have collected lunch and are back at your seat. Please also note that for ventilation windows in the Open Plan Area must remain open at all times.

Boundary layers and Biominerals

Carbonate minerals formed by marine organisms play a central role in the global carbon cycle and record an invaluable archive of ancient climate in their trace element and isotopic composition. These shells are formed from dissolved chemicals in seawater via a set of biological processes collectively known as ‘biomineralisation mechanisms’. There are considerable uncertainties surrounding the precise nature of these mechanisms, which have two main consequences: (1) it is difficult to predict the response of calcifying organisms to future climate change and ocean acidification, which is a source of uncertainty in future climate predictions, and; (2) biomineralisation modulates trace element and isotope incorporation into the mineral phase, and introduces substantial uncertainties into the climate archives derived from them.

Most studies of biomineralisation consider the biological and mineralogical processes that transfer ions from seawater to the site of mineral growth, and reduce the problem to consider idealised organism growing in seawater with an average ‘bulk’ composition. This neglects the modification of the surrounding environment by the act of biomineralisation. Growing calcium carbonate from seawater creates distinct boundary layers around calcifying organisms, distancing the environment of calcification from bulk seawater chemistry. The dynamics of this environment, and how it will change in response to changes in the bulk physical and chemical environment is a major area of uncertainty in our understanding of biomineralisation in future oceans, and in the recording of climate archives.

In this talk, I will introduce the physical and chemical context of the problem, and highlight a few case studies where a mechanical understanding of the system could considerably advance the field.

Topic: BPi Seminar Time: Feb 3, 2022 11:00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 955 7405 9849 Passcode: 623559

To attend the meeting, just open the meeting link in e.g., a web browser, which, if you have not already installed Zoom, will start a download and the quick installation of a small client will be necessary. If you already have Zoom, you already know what to do – and the link can be entered as the message ID.

The link will be live from 11.15am. By default you will be muted and not emitting video, so remember to unmute yourself before asking questions.

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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