Anthropogenic carbon dioxide is rapidly perturbing the global climate and carbon cycle, resulting in warming, increased ocean stratification and decreased pelagic productivity, increased intensity of the hydrological cycle and nutrient influx in the oceans, ocean acidification and increased hypoxia. Anticipating the short- and long-term response of species and ecosystems to potentially synergistic environmental parameters is challenging.
Historical and geological records of past climate change may provide a detailed, quantifiable account of biotic response. I will be showing examples of our research using techniques from a wide range of disciplines such as electron probe [EMPA], automated microscopy, synchrotron scanning [SRXTM] and finite element analysis [FEA] applied to on coralline algae and benthic and planktic foraminifers. We investigate the role of morphological plasticity of organism by quantifying internal structures, as proxies for growth and reproduction in the modern ocean and during the Pliocene and PETM.