Baikal team together for the Rick Battarbee Lecture Series 2014 and project meeting

The team got together on Thursday 8th May for the Rick Battarbee Lecture Series at UCL where Professor Sheri Fritz (from the University of Nebraska, USA) presented a talk on diatoms and climate: ‘From Microscopic to Macroscopic: Climate Variation Through Time as Viewed Through the Lens of the Diatoms.’ Sheri Fritz discussed the work carried out on diatom-inferred salinity and climate reconstructions from continental lakes and the role of ionic concentrations within saline lakes on diatom distributions. Palaeoclimatic records from lakes in the Northern Great Plains were presented, along with research into medieval mega droughts and the formation of Nebraska diatomites during Marine Isotope Stage 3. This was an excellent talk, and the extensive diatom research was inspirational.

The following day, the baikal team (Prof Anson Mackay, Dr George Swann, Dr Suzanne McGowan, Prof Neil Rose, Dr Virginia Panizzo, Jen Adams and Sarah Roberts) gathered for the first project meeting in 2014 at UCL. The meeting began with Jen Adams, Sarah Roberts and Ginnie Panizzo discussing their research findings so far, presenting data from contemporary limnological studies and sedimentary records. Jen presented results from High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) aided algal pigment analyses and Loss-on-ignition analyses (a measure of organic content) from two catchment lakes; Black Lake and Selenga Delta Lake 1. Sarah presented work on lake-water profile and catchment nutrient concentrations (total phosphorus, silicate and nitrate concentrations), Dissolved Organic Carbon (analysed at Loughborough University), Mercury concentrations (in lake-waters and sediments analysed by Dr. Handong Yang at UCL), HPLC algal pigments and carbon isotopes (analysed at the British Geological Survey). Ginnie presented the Silicon isotope results from all the lake water profiles and catchment sites.

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The project meeting was a great opportunity to explore data interpretations amongst the group and discuss potential publications and forthcoming opportunities to present the project work at conferences- thanks all for an excellent meeting and looking forward to the next one!

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One thought on “Baikal team together for the Rick Battarbee Lecture Series 2014 and project meeting

  1. I’d like to get involved in this, and participate in some way. I know the lake, and I believe the focus on the Selenga delta and south basins are the right focus. When I was involved in a project in Irkutsk, we went out to the lake many times. This was 1998-2000. At that time, I grew concerned that climate change and atmospheric deposition of POPs might in the long term threaten populations of critters like Epischura, which are responsible for lake clarity. If the lake loses its clarity, the whole system will change, and much will be lost. Anyway, I proposed a project on the Selenga, but there was no interest back then. I’m very glad there is activity now, as well as that GEF funded project on the basin. How can I help? Brian Wilkes

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