European Microbeam Analysis Society

7 September 2018 – This week I’m in Bristol for the EMAS workshop on Microbeam Analysis in the Earth Sciences. I’m giving an invited talk on ‘SIMS in synthetic and biological carbonates’.


Cu and ocean acidification

A lovely photograph of a Stylophora sp. coral in the aquarium at St. Andrews, from Sarah Cryer’s MSc dissertation. Sarah studied the combined effects of Cu and ocean acidification on coral physiological processes.


NERC funding

August 2018 – Really pleased to hear that my latest standard grant application to NERC has been funded. It’s a 3 year project, ‘Trace element and isotope partitioning in carbonates in simulated biological environments‘, in collaboration with Kirsty Penkman and Roland Kroger (both University of York), Matthieu Clog (University of Glasgow) and Adrian Finch (University of St. Andrews). We’ll be recruiting a post-doc for the project shortly.

Teaching innovation

May 2018 –  I’m the recipient of this years University of St. Andrews Student Association award for Innovative Teaching. I was nominated by my students which was really satisfying!

St Andrews_Teaching_Awards_AR

More biomineralisation….

Finishing off my experiments in Jerusalem. The right image shows the aragonite skeleton forming under the coral tissue (visible as a grey film just covering the crystals) and the left image shows the distribution of the dye calcein (bright = dye, dark = no dye). Calcein is membrane impermeable and it is present in seawater (bottom left corner) and where seawater has been transported under the tissue (bright ends of some crystals).


Coral imaging

21 March 2018 – I’m working at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with Jonathan Erez. We are growing corals over glass slides and using an inverted microscope to study the formation of the aragonite skeleton in real time. na1