News Microfossil Workshop ‘Inspiring’ 12.05.2024

Collyer’s recently welcomed Professor Tracy Aze from Leeds University. Professor Aze delivered a fantastic microfossil workshop, explaining how the microfossil group, foraminifera, could be used to track changing climate over time using their ‘biodiversity gradient’.

Collyer’s Head of Biology and Assistant Director of the Faculty for Science, Dr Ian Carr said: “Analysing the diversity of Forams and their size it has been found that diverse and large Forams characterise tropical latitudes whereas polar latitudes are characterised by small Forams with a low diversity.

“Professor Aze gave the students four samples to study and challenged them to interpret the climatic zone they had been collected in.”

The students used binocular microscopes to investigate the size and shape of the Forams before making their decisions.

Dr Carr added: “Professor Aze was very impressed with how successful the students were, and also kindly took time out to discuss career pathways with the group.”

The session was part of the Kirsty Brown Series, which focus on geology and the environment, in memory of geologist and marine biologist Kirsty Brown, who studied geology at Collyer’s and was also a former colleague of Ian Carr. The fund is generously covering the costs of trips, talks and a number of activities in this area, to help educate and inspire young people.

Rob Hussey, Collyer’s Vice Principal (Curriculum) was delighted: “What a fantastic session. Colossal thanks to our very own Dr Ian Carr and Professor Aze for presenting this wonderful educational opportunity and inspiring our students.”