James discussed the environmental impact of the coronavirus pandemic in a recent QMUL Public Lecture.
A key point from the discussion: coronavirus has clearly demonstrated that swift and decisive global action is possible when faced with a crisis. Climate change, then, has never been treated as a crisis.
A new study led by Doug LaRowe published in GCA - in which we quantify organic carbon degradation in global subseafloor sediments over the last 2.6 million years, and make a first pass at the microbial activity it supports.
LaRowe D, Arndt S, Bradley J, Burwicz E, Dale A, Amend J (2020) Organic carbon and microbial activity in marine sediments on a global scale throughout the Quaternary. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2020.07.017
The call for Commonwealth PhD Scholarships from high income countries is open! Candidates must citizens and residents from the following countries: Anguilla, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Malta, New Zealand, Seychelles, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands. I am interested in hearing from potential PhD candidates to join the lab - please get in touch!
James was recently interviewed by Mark Fallows on The Impossible Network podcast. During the interview, James covered topics ranging from his upbringing and love of the outdoors, to the politicisation of climate change, the darkening of Greenland's ice, and the impacts of mining the seafloor. Parts 1 and 2 out now - check it out!
Part 1: https://theimpossiblenetwork.com/podcast/dr-james-bradley/
Part 2: https://theimpossiblenetwork.com/podcast/climate-scientist-dr-james-bradley/
The call for H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships is open. I am interested in hearing from potential postdoctoral candidates to join the lab to work on research projects related to biogeochemical modelling, geobiology, carbon cycle, glacial ecology & biogeochemistry, deep biosphere and related fields!
Please get in touch for more information, and check out the MSCF website.
Deadline for applications: 9th September 2020.
Our new paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution is out! Glaciers worldwide are retreating as Earth’s climate warms. If we’re going to fully understand what the loss of glaciers means for global biodiversity, we must consider the glacier ecosystems themselves. Much has been written about the literal downstream effects of glacier loss on the biota and ecosystems they influence. But glaciers themselves also host diverse, multi-trophic communities! This diversity is largely microbial (i.e., algae, fungi, bacteria), but glaciers also host microfauna including rotifers and tardigrades. Larger organisms such as ice worms, birds and even mammals also rely on glaciers for refuge, transit, and foraging. Here, we stress that when thinking about how receding glaciers will affect global biodiversity, we should be thinking about the glacier ecosystems themselves as well as those downstream and adjacent.
Stibal M, Bradley J, Edwards A, Hotaling S, Zawierucha K, Rosvold J, Lutz S, Cameron K, Mikucki J, Kohler T, Šabacká M, Anesio A. (2020) Glacial ecosystems are essential to understanding biodiversity responses to glacier retreat. Nature Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-1163-0
Our new paper in Earth Science Reviews is out – where we review and discuss the role of the ecosystem in organic matter reactivity, degradation and preservation in marine sediments and global biogeochemical cycles, as well as its role in fueling the deep biosphere.
LaRowe D, Arndt S, Bradley J, Estes E, Hoarfrost A, Lang S, Lloyd K, Mahmoudi N, Orsi W, Shah Walter S, Steen A, Zhao R (2020) The fate of organic carbon in marine sediments - New insights from recent data and analysis. Earth Science Reviews. doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2020.103146
I am recruiting a 3-year post-doc in Arctic soil biogeochemical modelling. This post is part of an exciting new collaborative project with CU Boulder, U Utah, Montana Tech & British Geological Survey, investigating the fate of Arctic soil following glacier retreat.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions!
Apply via the link below before 20th March 2020 for full consideration.
Our new paper in Limnology & Oceanography evaluates the potential impacts of deep-sea mining on microbial ecosystems and ecosystem services in the deep ocean.
Interest in underwater extraction of mineral resources from the seabed through mining has increased in recent years, driven by consumer demands for metals such as a zinc, cobalt and rare earth elements, which are used in batteries for smartphones and electric cars.
Microbial ecosystems have been overlooked in environmental impact assessments that have examined the consequences of deep-sea mining activities. However, microbes across the seafloor are responsible for a number of important ecosystem services, including fueling the food web. Environments that are promising for mining are often important for the unusual animal and microbe communities they harbor. These environments also foster rich genetic diversity, making them promising candidates in the search for new drugs and potentially suitable for biotechnology applications.
We emphasize the importance of evaluating the consequences of mining activities in environmental assessments, and recommend that baseline analyses of microbial diversity, biomass, and rates of chemical processes be included in environmental impact assessment planning. It is also vital to determine what roles the microbes are playing and assess how they would be impacted by mining.
There is no precedent for mining activities in the deep sea, and therefore the consequences of local-scale destruction and permanent loss of seafloor habitat and endemic microbial life are difficult to predict.
It is vital to understand the potential impacts of mining activities to figure out if they should occur and how to manage them if they do. This is an important conversation between policymakers, industry, and the scientific community, and it’s essential that we work together to get this right. Once these ecosystems are damaged, they may never fully recover.
Orcutt, B.N., Bradley, J.A., Brazelton, W.J., Estes, E.R., Goordial, J.M., Huber, J.A., Jones, R.M., Mahmoudi, N., Marlow, J.J., Murdock, S. and Pachiadaki, M. (2020) Impacts of deep-sea mining on microbial ecosystem services. Limnology & Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lno.11403
I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to present my C-DEBI and Deep Carbon Observatory funded research, as well as chair and convene sessions, at many conferences and workshops throughout the later half of 2019. Highlights have included the Goldschmidt conference in Barcelona, the Geobiology meeting in Banff, the C-DEBI annual meeting and ECR workshop in Marina, California, various DCO meetings including the 'Deep Carbon 2019' and the 'Biotic Fringe' workshop in Washington DC and LUMCON, Louisiana, respectively, and the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.