SEOE Seminar Series: Dr. Angelos Hannides, Coastal CarolinaFriday, September 8, 2017 - 3:30pm
Title: "Life in the sand: from the microscopic to the planetary scale"
Sands cover half of the world’s shallow well-lit ocean and underlie some of the most productive marine ecosystems. They have been called nature’s bioreactors, filtering particulates from a substantial portion of the world’s shallow seas every day. Despite their preponderance and productivity they have not been well studied in the past, because of misinterpretation of early observations and the poor applicability of older methodologies. However, in the past 25 years we have made substantial progress in beginning to understand their biogeochemical function.
During my talk, I will provide a historical overview of our evolving understanding, focusing on the coasts and the inner continental shelf. I will demonstrate the various ways in which the interplay between sand permeability, physical exposure to waves, currents and tides, their interaction with seafloor features, such as ripples, and sand grain types and characteristics generate surprising variability in biogeochemical conditions and microbial environments that may affect the oceans and, indeed, the atmosphere. I hope that, by my talk’s conclusion, I will have provided a perspective on the future of the scientific study of this extensive habitat and how it may benefit coastal communities.