Research Seminars for 2017/18

Both external and internal speakers are invited to the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment to present the latest results of their research. Everyone is invited, so please come along!

Semester 1

DateSpeakerTitle

4th October 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GL)

 

Henning Bauch

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research c/o GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany

Climate change and the role of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – A “fresh” view from different angles

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is an integral part of the Earth's climate system as it is instrumental in carrying the atmospheric heat generated in the tropics northward into the Arctic via oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Over the North Atlantic region climate variability during the Quaternary has been identified on various time scales due to changes in AMOC, ranging from glacial-interglacial, to millennial-centennial, and down to multi-decadal. Naturally, the processes involved – actively and/or secondarily as a feedback – were also quite variable, both temporally as well as spatially. This study attempts to give an overview and some new thoughts on crucial aspects of the causes and consequences of glacial and interglacial paleoenvironmental conditions as they are identified in marine sediments from different areas of the global ocean, that is, from the high-latitude polar regions to the subtropics.

5th October 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Dr Tori McCoy

Honorary Research Fellow (Royal Society Newton fellowship), University of Leicester

Soft tissue preservation in amber

Preservation of fossils in amber appears to be simple and perfect: an organism is entombed in resin, which hardens, protecting the carcass and ‘freezing’ it in time. However, although almost all fossils in amber look perfect to the naked eye, recent studies have revealed that this is often just an illusion.  The best preserved specimens are indeed perfect, and include external cuticle as well as internal soft tissues such as flight muscles and neural tissues. In contrast, many other amber sites are simply hollow molds, stained to a life-like color with remnant carbon. Actualistic taphonomic experiments reveal the factors that contribute to this variable preservation of fossils in amber.

11th October 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Dr Claire Belcher

Associate Professor in Earth System Science, University of Exeter

T.B.C.

(Topic Area - paleofire, boreal forests, climate change)

12th October 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Professor Jim Briden

Emeritus, University of Oxford

 

One day in the life of a Continental Drifter

The Continental Drift Controversy lasted for over 50 years with opponents (“fixists”) in the majority throughout.The tipping point in favour of Drift came suddenly, on a November day in 1966 in New York City - paradoxically at a conference intended to decide how to tackle the geology of the Moon in the Apollo landings, and geology had little part to play in the decisive discoveries. In retrospect it is clear that the balance of evidence had actually shifted some years previously. In this talk I will explore why majority acceptance of drift was so delayed, what were the new discoveries that came together so unexpectedly and decisively, and why it still took a couple of years for the full Plate Tectonic model of earth dynamics to emerge.

19th October 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Professor Gavin Foster

Professor of Isotope Geochemistry, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton

Insights into our warm future from the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)

Our relatively recent geological past contains numerous real-world examples of the Earth functioning in altered climate states. Intervals of past global warmth hold the potential to provide unique insights into how the Earth System functions when significantly warmer than today and presents a reality check for the imperfect climate model simulations of our warm future. In particular, observations of our geological past allows us to explore the “unknown unknowns” that are impossible to parameterise even in the most sophisticated climate or Earth system model.

Here I will present new boron isotope data from the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) ~56 million years ago.  The PETM is an interval of global warmth commonly interpreted as being driven by the massive and rapid destabilization of carbon from surficial sedimentary reservoirs. If this interpretation is correct, this event has both important implications for the amplification of future fossil fuel emissions via carbon-climate feedbacks and offers a way to examine how climate sensitivity may vary as a function of background climate state.

25th October 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Professor David Evans

Professor of Human Geography, University of Sheffield

T.B.C.

26th October 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Dr Stewart Fishwick

Associate Professor in Geophysics, University of Leicester

The Ups and Downs of Africa

1st November 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Dr Thomas Smith

Lecturer in Physical & Environmental Geography, King’s College London

T.B.C.

2nd November 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Mr Holger Kessler

Team Leader Modelling Systems, British Geological Survey

3D geological modelling for infrastructure projects in the context of a national geological model

7th November 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Professor Harvey Miller

Bob and Mary Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science The Ohio State University

 

T.B.C.

8th November 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Dr Sharif Mowlabocus

Senior Lecturer in Media Studies/DigitalMedia, University of Sussex

“A license to be reckless”: (re)framing gay men’s health in the era of same-sex marriage

In 2016, the National AIDS Trust took the NHS to Court over the provision of  pre-exposure prophylaxis (PReP), the drug treatment that protects against HIV infection. After the High Court ruled that PReP provision did fall within its remit, the NHS announced a moratorium on funding all new treatments, causing a furore over NHS funding and the morality of this new preventative treatment. In this paper, and drawing upon an archive of British news media, I explore the arguments made against the provision of PReP on the National Health Service in 2016. I begin by examining the discursive strategies employed by those who criticised the High Court ruling. These strategies included the invocation of key figures such as the ‘innocent bystander,’ the ‘vulnerable child,’ and the ‘hard-working public servant’ and were positioned in opposition to the ‘deviant’ gay male population.

I then move to consider the deployment of these strategies (as well as other rhetorical devices, and news framing techniques) within the context of recent LGBT civil rights victories, to consider the unforeseen ‘costs’ of what some might term the triumph of homonormative politics. Chiefly, I argue that in the so-called ‘post-equalities’ era, critics of PrEP appropriated key political gains for homophobic purposes. In doing so, they drew power from recent legislative successes to (re)stigmatise the sexual performances and identities of gay men living outside of the ‘homonormative’ framework of the ‘happy gay couple’. In doing so, the British news media succeeded in in (re)framing PrEP as a “license to be reckless” rather than as a solution to a historic health inequality.

9th November 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Dr Dave Holwell

Associate Professor in Applied and Environmental Geology, University of Leicester

Death of magmatic Ni deposit, reincarnated in hydrothermal form

Magmatic sulfides hosted by mafic/ultramafic rocks are the largest resource of Ni and platinum group elements (PGE) on the planet. The genesis of these deposits by magmatic processes of sulfide saturation, enrichment and fractionation are well constrained. However, there are some Ni and PGE deposits that occur as hydrothermal deposits. These have puzzled economic geologists for years due to the largely immobile behaviour of Ni and PGE in hydrothermal fluids and most have loosely assumed a connection with magmatic sulfides, but that link is, as yet, unproven. By using Zeiss’ automated mineralogy to fully quantify a suite of samples that represent the alteration and destruction of magmatic sulfides under specific geologic conditions, it is apparent that this process liberates significant Ni, Cu, Fe, S and Pd to a fluid phase, such that it becomes a viable source of these metals into hydrothermal fluids, and whilst causing the death of the magmatic ore deposit, it has the potential to rise again and become one of these enigmatic hydrothermal Ni and PGE deposits.

16th November 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Dr Ana Ferreira

Reader in Seismology, UCL

T.B.C.

22nd November 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Dr Julie Cupples

Reader in Human Geography, University of Edinburgh

T.B.C.

23rd November 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Professor Edward Rhodes

Professor of Physical Geography, University of Sheffield

Understanding fault behaviour with constraints from luminescence dating


29th November 2017

1pm-2pm

F75a Bennett

(GG)

Dr Chris Sandbrook

Senior Lecturer in Conservation Leadership at UNEP-WCMC, University of Cambridge

What do conservationists believe about people, nature and markets?

Recent years have seen heated debates within the conservation community about why, what and how to conserve. These have tended to be dominated by a small number of (mostly) white, western males occupying powerful positions. The Future of Conservation survey set out to discover what the wider community of conservationists felt about the issues under debate. With nearly 9,000 respondents, it is the largest ever survey of the conservation community, and provides some startling results that challenge conventional thinking. In this seminar, Chris Sandbrook will outline the contours of current conservation debates, provide an early insight into the unpublished findings of the survey, and discuss their implications for the conservation movement. (If you would like to take the survey yourself, it is at www.futureconservation.org)

30th November 2017

1pm-2pm

G72 (TA2) Bennett

(GL)

Dr Dan Smith

Lecturer in Applied and Environmental Geology, University of Leicester

T.B.C.


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E: geology@le.ac.uk