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Left to right: Kirsty Edgar with other day shift micropalaontologists - Trine Edvardsen (Benthic foraminiferal specialist from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Rodrigo del Monte Guerro (Calcareous nannofossil specialist from Universidade Do Vale Do Rio Dos Sinos, Brazil).

Kirsty Edgar and fellow micropalaeontologists

International Ocean Drilling Expedition 369 on which Kirsty Edgar is currently sailing have ‘successfully’ completed their first site recovering more than 700 m of sediments from beneath the seafloor in the Australian Bight.

The team have set several new records for IODP (operating since the 1970’s) including the highest ever core recovery using a certain drilling technique that is usually quite destructive.

The first site drilled aimed to recover sediments spanning peak Cretaceous greenhouse conditions and Ocean Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2), approximately 85-95 million years ago. OAE2 was a brief interval of enhanced organic carbon burial during which the global ocean became anoxic and is associated with peak Cretaceous greenhouse conditions. The team hope to be able to test the impact of large-scale carbon burial on global temperatures and the dominant mechanisms leading to ocean anoxia, e.g., ocean circulation changes and global warmth.

In addition to conducting their scientific duties, the team are doing regular live broadcasts about life and the science going on shipboard to public and scientific audiences at the Smithsonian Museum (USA), and schools from around the world. Expedition Co-Chief Prof. Brian Huber also briefly appeared on BBC world to explain the aims of the expedition.

Sunset in the Australian Bight

Sunset in the Australian Bight

You can follow the progress of the expedition on Twitter @KirstyMEdgar and @Palaeo_Bham, or find out more about the expedition aims and progress on the Expedition website.