Amy is a nannopalaeontologist and current PhD student at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research investigates the diversity changes in calcareous nannoplankton communities at low-latitude assemblages through the Palaeogene and Neogene periods. Additionally, she is looking into coccolithophore macroevolution during these intervals exploring the “how and why” climate changes through specific intervals contribute to vast effects on nannofossils communities; for example, the relationship between nannofossils and carbon dioxide. Amy completed her masters at the University of Birmingham in 2016, in Applied and Petroleum Micropalaeontology while her bachelor’s degree was achieved in Palaeontology at the University of Portsmouth. Amy enjoys participating in public outreach with the University of Birmingham and the Lapworth Museum of Geology, but usually she can be found looking down her microscope. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, wildlife photography and lazy days with her dogs.
School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.
by Amy P. Jones1
Calcareous nannofossils — words that are, perhaps, unfamiliar to you. You might never have stumbled upon them before … So what are they? They are the fossil remains of coccolithophores: single-celled marine algae from the phylum Haptophyta and division Prymnesiophyceae. They exist in great abundance around the world in the oceans, and have done for over 200 million years. They are also known as the grass of the sea, and are regarded as one of the most important phytoplankton groups in the oceans owing to their relationship with the carbon cycle. They provide valuable proxies to help us understand conditions throughout geological history, because their evolution shows consistent and resilient patterns.
Nannofossils are composed of calcium carbonate, also