Funded under 7th FWP (Seventh Framework Programme)
Research area: ERC-SG-PE10 ERC Starting Grant – Earth system science
I propose to develop and apply a novel method for the integrated reconstruction of past changes in carbon cycling and climate change. This method will be based on combining a well-established sensitive paleo-climate proxy with a recent discovery: the stable carbon isotopic composition (´13C) of marine dinoflagellates (algae) and their organic fossils (dinocysts) reflects seawater carbonate chemistry, particularly pCO2. Biological (culture) experiments will lead to new insights in dinoflagellate carbon acquisition, and enable quantification of the effect of carbon speciation on dinoflagellate ´13C. The rises in CO2 concentrations during the last century, and at the termination of the last glacial period will be used to test and calibrate the new method. The ´13C of fossil dinoflagellate cysts will subsequently be used to reconstruct surface ocean pCO2 and ocean acidification during a past analogue of rapidly rising carbon dioxide concentrations, 55 million years ago.
Continue reading ‘From Protist to Proxy: Dinoflagellates as signal carriers for climate and carbon cycling during past and present extreme climate transitions (DINOPRO)’