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Former lecturer donates scientific art to School

28 March 2019

Foraminifera art detail

Professor Paul Pearson has donated a Richard Bizley artwork to the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

The acrylic triptych depicts a group of marine foraminifera, which are single-cell organisms with shells that are easily affected by changes in ocean chemistry.

Professor Pearson is a specialist in evolutionary and geochemical studies of planktonic foraminifera, and what they tell us about the long history of climate change on Earth. He has taught and undertaken research in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences since 2003 and is now an Honorary Professor.

His current research project “Ocean carbon cycling since the middle Miocene: Testing the metabolic hypothesis” is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It examines marine carbon cycling - the removal of carbon from the surface ocean and its transport through the ocean to the deep - from the Middle Miocene Climate Optimum (MMCO) 15 million years ago to the present day. It aims to create a model that will help scientists to understand past changes in the ocean carbon cycle and project possible future changes.

Professor Pearson has previously worked with scientific artist Richard Bizley on foraminifera reconstructions. This current artwork depicts the planktonic foraminifera that will be studied as part of the ocean carbon cycling research project.

The artwork will go on display in the Viriamu Jones Gallery, Main Building from 28th March to 1st April 2019, after which it will be located in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Foraminifera art in the VJ Gallery

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