Climate records in bivalves

HordHello, my name is Erin Hord and I am going to be a junior at Wittenberg University, which is in Springfield, Ohio. I am pursuing a degree in Biology with a minor in Marine Science. This summer, I am thrilled to be an REU student working in Dr. Bryan Black’s lab. One of Dr. Black’s main focuses is sclerochronology, which is the process of dating organisms containing hard shells, like bivalves, based on the patterns observed in their growth rings. Geoduck is an example of a marine bivalve that grows rings annually, and it is often studied in order to gain more information about past environmental patterns. For my research project, I am going to be replicating a chronology of a species of geoduck from the North Pacific that Dr. Black and his colleagues worked diligently on at the North American Dendroecology Fieldweek. I will replicate it by crossdating all of the individual geoduck samples in the chronology. I will then relate this chronology to sea surface temperatures in the region of the North Pacific. Our hypothesis is that the variability in the chronology will be evident through crossdating and that it will correlate with the variability in the regional sea surface temperatures, thus providing more information about the history of temperature variability in the North Pacific. Stay tuned to learn more about geoduck and its potential to reveal valuable information about past environmental patterns.

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