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Catarina Dinis Cavaleiro


+49 421 218-65201



GEO building, room 2580

Catarina Dinis Cavaleiro
Institution: University of Bremen
Other webpage(s): Catarina's MARUM web page


PhD project:

Mid to Late Pleistocene productivity changes in the North Atlantic based on coccolith

Coccolithophores are microscopic algae producing tiny calcite platelets, called coccoliths. Coccolithophores use coccoliths to surround their only cell. Though they are very small creatures, they can form huge blooms, even seen from space.
Because they produce organic matter (extracting CO2 from the atmosphere) and calcify (extracting ion carbonate from the surface ocean) they play a unique role on the ocean biogeochemistry.
I am very interested in studying their role on the oceans and I'm now focusing on their productivity: when did coccolithophores proliferated or decay and why?

This project aims to characterise coccolithophore productivity in the mid latitude North Atlantic and Iberian margin. These are sensitive areas to climate change and I intend to observe the reaction of coccolithophore calcification to interglacials with different peak temperatures and carbon dioxide levels during Mid to Late Pleistocene (650 to 350 kyr ago).

I will use coccolith SrCa ratios (Stoll and Schrag, 2000) as well as coccolith assemblages from two IODP Sites, the U1313 (Mid North Atlantic Ocean) and the U1385 (Iberian margin).

This PhD is funded by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation and it's a mixed PhD (half of the time in Bremen, half in Portugal).

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Michal Kucera University of Bremen
Dr. Karl-Heinz Baumann University of Bremen
Dr. Antje Voelker Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Portugal
Dr. Heather Stoll Universidad de Oviedo, Spain
GLOMAR Research Theme A