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Research at St Andrews

Nicola Allison

Person

Nicola Allison
Postal address:
School of Earth & Enviro Sciences
Irvine Building
St Andrews

United Kingdom

E-mail: na9@st-andrews.ac.uk

Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 463952

Research overview

My research focuses on calcium carbonate minerals, particularly their formation and their chemistry. Calcium carbonates are formed by a range of important marine organisms including corals, molluscs and foraminifera. These calcareous structures provide tissue support and protection and serve to provide habitat spaces for other organisms e.g. coral reefs. I research biomineralisation and have built and run state of the art aquaria system to enable the culture of organisms under tightly controlled conditions. I study the effects of rising seawater temperatures and atmospheric CO2 (ocean acidification) on biomineralisation processes – a key objective in predicting the future of coral reefs and other economically important calcareous species. I also research how calcium carbonate chemistry is affected by the environment conditions at the time of deposition and investigate how the chemistry of fossil carbonates e.g. ancient reefs, may record climatic information. These accurate records of past seawater temperatures are key to understanding past global climates and for validating models predicting 21st century climate change.

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