Life in the sand: from the microscopic to the planetary scale

Presenter: 
Angelos Hannides, Assistant Professor of Marine Chemistry (CCU)
Event Location: 
Smith Science Building Room 120
Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 
SCMSS Seminar Series

Abstract

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 20 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, and touching upon minimally intrusive field observations, targeted sampling, and validated modeling. 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 result in a high diversity of microenvironments that may affect the oceans and, indeed, the atmosphere. Finally, throughout my talk I hope to provide a perspective on the future of the scientific study of this extensive habitat and how it may benefit society.

Speaker Information

Dr. Angelos Hannides is an Assistant Professor in Marine Chemistry at Coastal Carolina University in the Department of Marine Science. He received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii in 2008. 

More information about him and his work can be found here.