Conducting research on the impact of climate change on plankton in the oceans
Calcareous plankton in the oceans are under threat as a result of climate change. Changing temperatures have the potential to alter the balance of plankton ecosystems. Ocean acidification will dissolve calcite shells of plankton potentially leading to dire consequences for marine food chains. One of the key groups with an uncertain future is the calcareous nannoplankton, a group of golden brown algae that develops a skeleton made of the mineral calcite (CaCO3) in a similar fashion to coral. The nannoplankton have a spectacular geological record, that spans the last 225 million years, allowing us to investigate their evolution in detail. Our research focuses on ancient events where the nannoplankton have been subjected to rapid environmental change. Such events provide important information on the likely future of living nannoplankton.