Calcification Pathways in Marine Calcifiers

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Laura Otter is a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Professor Dorrit Jacob and Dr. Matthew Kosnik in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science (2012) and a Master of Science (2015) from the Gutenberg University in Germany, with majors in geochemistry, crystallography, and mineralogy. She is trained in microanalyses and biogeochemistry from her time as a research assistant at the Departments of Biogeochemistry and Climate Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany.

Her interdisciplinary research project merges the fields of structural marine biology and geochemistry and aims at a deeper understanding of the architectural building processes that dictate the growth in the shells of various marine calcifiers. For this purpose she conducts labelling experiments with different types of bivalves and benthic foraminifera that are maintained and monitored in aquaculture. Shells are studied with various analytical techniques to reveal the exact growth mechanisms. These studies will aid in the deeper understanding of calcified shells and their applicability for palaeoclimate reconstructions.

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