Fossilized leaf waxes reveal the effects of ancient global warming on plants

It’s All About the Plants
Tuesday, 1 October 2013—10:00–12:00
Goodman Building Lecture Theatre

Dr Cesca (Francesca) McInerney, ARC Future Fellow
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide


Dr. McInerney’s research focuses on reading isotopic signatures from the rock record to understand the influence of past climate changes on ancient ecosystems.  In particular, she is interested in how plant communities and terrestrial biogeochemical cycles reacted to periods of global warming in the geologic past as a potential analogue to future climate change impacts.

Specifically, she analyzes the stable isotopic composition of fossilized leaf waxes to reconstruct past climates and ecosystems.  These leaf waxes are essentially molecular fossils that retain information for millions of years about the plants that made them and the environments they lived in.  In order to interpret these ancient chemical signatures, McInerney also studies modern plants and soils as a means of calibrating the isotopic tools she applies to the geologic record.

All Herbarium staff, honoraries, volunteers and students are welcome.

Morning tea provided