UCMPs summer adventures (cont.)(page 3 of 7)
Carole Hickman spent most of the summer in Berkeley, completing three
manuscripts based on earlier research in the Recherche Archipelago on the
south Coast of Australia. Nevertheless, she did manage to fit in trips to
Hawaii, Florida, and Oregon in support of her research. In June she spent
a week at the University of Hawaii doing Scanning Electron Microscopy of
gastropod shell microarchitecture. In July she traveled to Sanibel Island,
Florida, to present a paper on molluscs and seagrass ecosystems in the
fossil record at the annual Meeting of the American Malacological Society.
While in Florida, she collected and photographed fossil and modern shell
accumulations as part of a long-term study of shellbeds.
At the end of the summer, she joined former Berkeley Paleontology students David G. Taylor (Ph.D. 1980) and Elizabeth A. Nesbitt (Ph.D. 1988) in Oregon to excavate and study a late Eocene cold-seep fauna in the Keasey Formation. There are two kinds of deep-sea vents: hydrothermal vents that occur at divergent plate boundaries and produce a very hot fluid, and cold
seeps that occur on the continental shelf and produce a cold fluid. The nearest
modern example of the latter is down in the Monterey Canyon. The faunas
that occur in both cases use the reduced compounds in the geothermal fluids
as an energy source, rather than the sun. Taylor found the site of this
ancient vent in Oregon and the team is investigating its architecture, clues
from the surrounding outcrop, and the fossil bivalves to learn more about
the chemosymbiotic relationships that may have occurred at this ancient
site of fluid venting.
Modern beach accumulation of shells on Sanibel Island, Florida. (photo by Carole Hickman)