Oliver Shorttle


Easter: week 3


Prepare a presentation (10-15 minutes max) on one of the three papers listed below (decide amongst your supervision group which one you want to take and make sure to read the paper(s) your supervision partner(s) are presenting).


  1. The origin and evolution of Earth’s carbon
    • Where did Earth’s carbon come from?
    • How well do we know where Earth’s carbon is?
    • What is the distribution of carbon (/volatiles) in the solar system?
  2. The influence of large bolide impacts on Earth’s carbon cycle
    • What is the record and history of bombardment on Earth?
    • Do the properties of the impactor or impactee matter more in determining the outcome of an impact for Earth’s climate and carbon cycle? (How will this have varied over Earth history?)
    • What is the link between impact and mass extinction?
  3. Interpreting the carbon isotope record of mass extinctions
    • How do carbon isotopes vary before, in response to, and following mass extinctions?
    • What are the challenges in using carbon isotopes to reconstruct mass extinction events?
    • What are the similarities and differences between the three case study mass extinction events? How are we able to differently able to study them?

Overarching questions:

  • What tools do we have to trace carbon in Earth?
  • How do these papers inform our understanding of the anthropogenic carbon ‘experiment’?

Presentation advice

In preparing your presentations, think about what the key research questions are, what has been/is being done to answer these questions, and what the major challenges are (e.g., analyses are very challenging to make, the proxy used is difficult to interpret etc.).

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