Mary ELLIOT


Professeure

Nantes - Bât. 4

Tél : +33 (0)251125296

Mél : mary.elliot@univ-nantes.fr

 

 

Research Interests:

My research focuses on understanding the relationships between changes in ocean circulation and past and present climate change. I use a geochemical tracers such as stable isotope and trace elements measured on marine microfossils and bivalves which secrete biogenic carbonate. These proxies provide quantitative estimates of past changes in ocean salinity and temperature with seasonal resolutions. One active area of research focuses on reconstructions of past El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) patterns using marine bivalves. Marine bivalves have the advantage of providing paleoenvironmental records with seasonal resolutions at high and low latitudes. My research focuses on modern and fossil giant long-lived Tridacna specimen in order to assess their potential to reconstruct present and past changes in ENSO. Modern specimens are used to test their ability to reconstruct modern climatic conditions. This research involves fieldwork in remote areas of the Western Pacific Warm Pool and fossil samples have been collected which cover key periods of the past 400,000 years with a special focus on the Holocene and past warm interglacial climates.

 

1) Holocene PaleoENSO: 

I use fossil archives : marine molluscs that can be used to reconstruct past climatic evolution with seasonal resolutions. Geochemical transects across the annually secreted layers of carbonate are used to reconstruct past environmental changes. We use the results derived from fossil giant clams to reconstruct past changes in interannual climate variations such as El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Image Tridcana shell   Image Tridacna tranche

 Figure: Photo of a Tridacana gigas (left) and a picture of a slice of a Tridacna gigas shell on which can be viewed the growth bands.

 

2) Holocene climate variability and deep water corals: 

Deep water coral reef environments can be found at various water depth around the Atlantic region. Thanks to their high growth rates we are able to derive information on ocean circulation with centennial timescales.