I study biomineralisation and the chemistry of biogenic carbonates. I maintain a sophisticated aquarium facility for the culture of tropical corals and other organisms over variable seawater pCO2, alkalinity and temperature scenarios. My current research interests include:
Calcium carbonate precipitation in simulated biological environments: I investigate controls on biomineralisation by precipitating inorganic calcium carbonates in vitro whilst varying, for example, dissolved inorganic carbon chemistry, pH and biomolecules.
Biomineralisation and climate change: I study biomineralisation in tropical reef building corals and the impact of climate change e.g. rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification, on coral calcification and metabolic processes.
The geochemistry of biogenic carbonates: The skeletal chemistry of marine organisms may record information on the local environmental conditions prevailing at the time of their deposition and the analysis of fossil specimens can be used to estimate past climate. My research focuses on understanding the environmental and biological processes which affect the skeletal geochemistry of corals, foraminifera and sclerosponges.
Reconstruction of tropical and sub-tropical Pacific seawater temperatures: I am using measurements of Sr/Ca, δ11B and δ18O in fossil corals from Papua New Guinea, Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef to reconstruct records of sea surface temperature, ice volume and regional salinity in the Pacific Ocean at key times in the Quaternary and beyond.