Understanding climate
for the benefit of society

Seminar talk: Trees of the sea: quantifying biogeochemical responses to global change by the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Great Barrier Reef

Nicholas Kamenos from University of Glasgow will be the seminar speaker on May 28.

Kamenos Tropics sampling
Kamenos tropic sampling

Short biography:

The oceans are a critical global resource which is changing. Change is both natural but also, in recent times, has become anthropogenically driven. I am a Reader in Global Change and my group's research in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow asks questions about how the oceans are altered by the synergy between natural and anthropogenic change while trying to better determine the actual extent of global change. We focus on biogeochemical cycles which we consider in two broad groupings: 1) We develop climatic and ecological proxies for the Holocene to better understand past responses of ecosystem engineers to different rates of environmental change. 2) We investigate relationships between global change (e.g. climate variability, ocean acidification & multiple stressors) and ecosystem engineers (e.g. coralline algae, corals and seagrass) along with the services they provide. Both research groupings are strongly multidisciplinary including many biological, geological and chemical techniques.


Research keywords: climate change, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, biogeochemistry, global change biology, blue carbon, multiple stressors, ecosystem service provision, coralline algae, seagrass, corals, ocean acidification.



The observational record of environmental and biotic change is relatively short; decadal in the case of many Arctic and Tropical systems. We require such accurate data to both understand the sensitivities and resilience of those systems of global change, but also, to provide data for driving and validating projective models. Marine biogenic calcifiers often band annually and can provide a mechanism for extending the observational record enabling more robust sensitivity analysis and model validation. We apply two such annually banding archives to better understand Arctic and Tropical global change impacts at centennial time scales; 1) we use reconstructed tropical coral bleaching to determine their ability to adapt and / or acclimate to global warming, and 2) use red coralline algae to determine the discharge history of the Greenland ice sheet. These extended records provide us with insights into previously inaccessible processes and drivers of biogeochemical change.


Arranged date for the seminar talk: May 28, 2019 at 10:00

Bjerknes lecture room 4020, Jahnebakken 5