Official newsletter of the LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics
April 2016
Geology & Geophysics Quarterly Spotlight
Researchers Secure NASA Funding for Robotic Search for Life Beneath Antarctica

Geology & Geophysics' professor Dr. Peter Doran and founder of Stone Aerospace Dr. Bill Stone  have assembled a diverse team of polar and planetary scientists to develop a state-of-the-art cryobot (an ice-penetrating robotic vehicle) to search for life in lakes and oceans under miles-thick ice in Antarctica. With nearly $3 million from NASA, the team will develop, integrate and field test SPINDLE (Sub-glacial Polar ice Navigation, Descent, and Lake Exploration), an autonomous cryobot that will melt through some of the thickest ice on Earth to access the pristine water beneath.

Click HERE to read the full article
LSU researchers presented the latest findings on the most critical coastal and oceanographic issues at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans. Seventeen scientific talks, 56 research posters and two press conferences were presented by LSU researchers at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from Feb. 21-26.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels expected during the 21st century would equal those from a geologic era that saw contraction of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and a substantial rise in sea level, according to two studies published Feb. 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A new climate and ice sheet model reported in one study projects the sea level to rise approximately 100 feet if the current carbon dioxide level of 400 parts per million increases to 500 ppm, as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Scientists with the Antarctic Geological Drilling Program, or ANDRILL, reached the conclusions after extracting and examining a 3,375-foot-long drill-core sample of rock from beneath Antarctica's McMurdo Sound.

Barb Dutrow, the Adolphe G. Gueymard Professor in Geology & Geophysics, presented the American Women in Geosciences Distinguished Lecture at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in March. The talk was entitled "Gemstones as guides to the earth's evolution" and focused on using the mineral tourmaline to decipher processes in the Earth's crust and diamond to elucidate the Earth's mantle. "Superdeep" diamonds bring to the surface the only known samples of minerals from 700 km depth, the Earth's lower mantle.

Dr. Dutrow's research at LSU involves using minerals, their chemistry and formation conditions to understand the Earth's evolution from geothermal systems to hydrothermal systems to lower crustal metamorphic systems.

Dr. Dutrow was also highlighted by the LSU College of Science in their Women In Stem Spotlight.
Geological Society of America South-Central Section's Golden Anniversary Meeting

Geoscientists from the south-central U.S. and beyond convened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the unique geologic features of the region at the 50th Annual Meeting hosted by LSU and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Geology & Geophysics PhD Alumnus Receives Marie Curie Individual Fellowship
G&G Alumnus Bryan Killingsworth has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellowships are the most prestigious in Europe. It comes from the European Commission and is designed to enhance the career of experienced researchers (those having a PhD) with funding to work on a project in a different country from the researcher's home country, and in liaison with a host institution, to the benefit of all parties.

Killingsworth's fellowship is for 2 years, starts this April, and is hosted by Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) (English name: The University of Western Brittany), in Brest, France at the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM). His project was developed with the involvement of two French isotope laboratories. The project investigates the processes that affect the preservation and disappearance of geochemical signals (e.g. isotopes in the rock record) of an anoxic Earth atmosphere just after the "Great Oxidation Event" (GOE), where the Earth first transitioned to a permanently oxygenated atmosphere, at ~2400 million years ago.

During the project he will build on the specific isotope skills in sulfur and oxygen that he learned during his time working on his PhD with Dr. Bao at LSU. Killingsworth also hopes to learn new isotope and geochemical skills with training from French researchers and laboratories. Congratulations Bryan!
Welcome Aboard!

This fall we will welcome a new Assistant Professor  -
Dr. Patricia Persaud. 

Persaud will be joining us from the Seismological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.
Her research involves using explosive shots from the Salton Sea Imaging Project and recently relocated earthquakes along with knowledge of the active faults and shapes of major basins from gravity anomalies in the Salton Trough region to produce an integrated 3-D Seismotectonic-Velocity model for the study area.

We are excited to welcome her to the department and LSU.

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