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Friday, May 08, 2009

Asteroids, Oxygen, Mass Extinctions and Fires

Dr Claire Belcher, Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Plant Palaeoecology and Palaeobiology Group in University College Dublin, is spending two weeks with the fire group to collaborate on the study of the smouldering and flaming behaviour of biomass under low oxygen atmospheres.

Claire’s research interests include mass extinction events, fire ecology and ancient atmospheres with particular interest in using wildfire as a proxy for atmospheric oxygen.

She will give the seminar "Asteroids, Oxygen, Mass Extinctions and Fires" on Tuesday 12 May at 4 pm in the Alexander Graham Bell Bldg. Seminar room (3rd floor).


Fire has been a major influence on Earth’s systems for ~380 million years. Throughout this long history fire has played the role of cause, consequence and catalyst to the development of terrestrial life on Earth. The study of palaeofire can provide a powerful tool to understanding past environmental change. Claire has been working on palaeofire since 2001 where her work has used palaeofire to address a broad diversity of questions. Her talk promises to show how fossil fire can be used to inform us about:

- Ancient fire activity
- Earth’s mass extinction events
- Ancient atmospheric pollutants
- Levels of thermal radiation delivered by asteroid impacts
- Palaeoatmospheric oxygen levels
- Ancient ecosystems responses to global warming

1 comment:

alotstuff said...

thanks for the valuable information