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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  October 2010  /  Diatom Research and the largest trilobite in the world

Diatom Research and the largest trilobite in the world

Roger Flower attends the International Diatom Symposium in Minneapolis and visits Manitoba

Diatom Research and the largest trilobite in the world

Dr Roger Flower, Professorial Research Associate in the Department, attended the 21st International Diatom Symposium held in Minneapolis on the 28th August – 4th September. He presented a well received paper based on research into Holocene sediments and diatoms from the Faiyum Depression in Middle Egypt.  Other papers covered a range of diatom themes, from ecology to molecular genetics, and diatoms and USA river systems were strongly represented, as well as cryptic species and genetic bar-coding. The conference ended with a lively evening and dinner in the conference hotel.

After the conference, Roger visited the University of Manitoba’s Geological Sciences Department in Winnipeg to meet palaeolimnological co-workers Bill Last and Jim Teller. The Department is notable not only for its research output but also for the small but very well presented public display of important fossil/mineral collections and archival material, including the world’s largest (c. 70 cm long!) trilobite (Isotelus rex).

After this, he also visited West Hawk Lake, in the White Shell Provincial Park, some 60 km east of Winnipeg. The lake is Manitoba’s deepest, at 111.5 metres, and the basin was formed by a meteorite impact 100 or more million years ago. Despite its great age and subsequent glaciations, the lake basin remains approximately round, with steep-sided margins of ancient Canadian Shield rocks. According to Jim Teller et al., the lake basin contains 320 m of impact breccia overlain by more recent sediments including laminated upper Holocene material, consisting of c. 1 cm thick varves. These offer valuable climate change records.

Roger’s visit was support by funds from the UCL Graduate Schools and Faculty Dean’s Fund.



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