Monday, August 9, 2010

Student Profile: Lina Stolze

I am a Ph.D. student in the Earth Science Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). Before I started with my Ph.D. thesis at MUN, I studied “Marine Environmental Sciences” at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany).
My work within the CHONe (Canadian Healthy Oceans Network) project aims to identify key geological and geochemical factors that significantly influence bioturbation processes in marine benthic environments. Therefore, I am characterizing bioturbation processes at three sampling sites with contrasting climates and bathymetries (Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Labrador Fjords, and Gulf of Maine) as indicator for biological activities. Bioturbation rates and biological mixing depth will be determined by describing the sedimentary fabric and the mixing of tracers (radioisotopes: 210Pb, 137Cs, 228Th and 234Th and chlorophyll-a) within the sediment column. Also, geological and geochemical benthic characteristics, in particular sedimentation rate, organic matter content (TOC), and organic matter source will be analyzed. Correlations among environmental factors and bioturbation processes identified in this study may be useful to predict and interpret effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental alterations on the biological activity of benthic habitats and, thus, may be beneficial for establishing guidelines regarding conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity resources.
Being part of CHONe also gives me the great opportunity to collaborate with CHONe students from different universities in Canada, and to see fascinating country sites of Canada by taking part in research cruises to the Arctic, the Labrador Fjords and the Gulf of Maine.
On board the CCGS Hudson I am part of the MUD team that is working with the multicorer in order to collect sediment cores from the sea bottom. For the purposes of my work, I slice some of the obtained cores into centimeter sections and subsample others by using plexi glass trays that will be X-ray imaged back at MUN.