|23 April 2014 5pm||Claire McCraw||Sun, sea, cycling and salsa – five comrades experience the real Cuba||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || Back in January I swapped the dreary Scottish winter for 2.5 weeks of hot and sticky cycle touring around eastern Cuba with four of my comrades. Come along to hear a little about the country, some of our adventures, and why I believe cycle touring is one of the best ways to really experience a country while travelling – as long as you don’t expect it all to be plain sailing! |
|4 December 2013 5pm||Maddy Berg||Megatron, Synchrotron, TRON||Room 302, Crew Building|
| || I spent two weeks last month working at one of the above. Please come along to my Grad talk to find out which one…! I will be talking about X-rays, 3D pictures, magma and sleep deprivation. France may also feature. What more could you possibly desire from your Wednesday afternoon?
|13 November 2013 5pm||Kit Carruthers||Natural CO2-brine analogues, Utah: geysers in the desert||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || Underground storage of carbon dioxide in CCS schemes may promote the mobilisation of potentially harmful trace elements, such as arsenic, mercury and lead.
My PhD is concerned with undertaking experimental work to determine trace element mobilisation from UK North Sea sandstones under CO2 storage conditions, however this has been supplemented with a study of a natural analogue in Utah, USA.
Natural CO2-driven geysers in the San Rafael desert bring dissolved elements to the surface - these waters were sampled and analysed for trace elements to compare concentrations with North Sea data.
Come find out more about the fieldwork: guaranteed photos, videos, maps and diagrams galore!
More info on my Blog. |
|25 September 2013 5pm||Johannes Miocic||Fieldwork experience in Arizona & some geological features of the Western US||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || A few months back I had fieldwork in Arizona during which I sampled several Travertine deposits. Additionally, I undertook a small road trip through the Southwest and the West Coast of the US. The astonishing landscapes are caused by simple geological processes and I will try to explain some of them. Expect many pictures, some videos and loads of awesome science! |
|18 September 2013 5pm||Andrew Fraser-Harris||«Welcome Weekend info and what to do in Edinburgh»||Room 302, Crew Building|
| || The GradSchool Annual Welcome Weekend is upon us again! This year we will be returning to the Cairngorms where we will stay in Nethy House in Nethy Bridge. There will be plenty of opportunity for an awesome weekend with activities booked for up to 30 people on the Saturday and also the stunning Cairngorms on your doorstep. Places are filling up fast so make sure you get yours!
New to Edinburgh? Been here for a while but never really got to know the city? Here we present some informative and some fun things you can do in an around Edinburgh!|
|2 May 2013 5.30pm||Kit Carruthers||«An account of an A-Bomb survivor from Hiroshima»||The Old Library, Drummond Street|
| || Ever wanted to know what it is like to survive a nuclear bomb? Kiyomi Kohno knows. A small group of us met her and her daughter last year in Hiroshima and Kiyomi gave us her story. Needless to say, it was an emotional experience for all. Using some of the drawings Kiyomi has made, and her personal account of the day, I'll be retelling Kiyomi's story of her search for her sisters in the aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. And if that doesn't sound too cheery, I'll throw in some holiday snaps too!|
|11 April 2013 5pm||George Jaramillo||«The House the Mather Built: The Rangers' Club and Yosemite National Park »||The Old Library, Drummond Street|
| || In the far off land of California, a piece of land was set aside 150 years ago to be protected and preserved for everyone. It would be the first instance of park land being set aside specifically for preservation and public use by action of the U.S. federal government. Yosemite National Park is a vast natural and cultural park containing thousands of years of human habitation. This talk discusses the modern movement to preserve the park and its iconic people-the park ranger-through one of its mot significant structures: The Rangers' Club. Come to this week's GradTalk to learn a little bit of architectural history, why the National Park Service was created, and who park rangers really are.|
|4 April 2013 5pm||Neil Chalmers||«The new sin tax: Taxing high carbon foods in Scotland»||Room 302, Crew Building|
| || Abstract Global livestock production accounts for approximately 18% of total greenhouse gas emissions and yet Scottish households consume more than the government’s recommendations of meat products. Therefore it seems that households require an incentive in order to reduce consumption of meat and other high carbon foods. This talk will be explaining how a carbon consumption tax would work and the impact it may subsequently have on Scottish household behaviour.|
|26 March 2013 12 noon||Darren Wilkinson||«Eye Tracking Geologists in the Field»||Main Lecture Theater, Grant Institute|
| || I have recently returned from taking part in a collaborative project between over 9 institutions to understand how geologists deconstruct field scenes, which culminated in a 10-day excursion from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Wearing a state of the art eye tracking rig, I and another geologist from Italy were taken around some of the most visually impressive and geologically interesting scenes in the western USA, including the San Andreas Fault, Yosemite National Park and Death Valley. You'll find out how computer techs, engineers, psychologists and geologists have worked together to make breakthrough discoveries about how "professionals" view scenes of scientific importance compared with novices. |
|14 March 2013 5pm||Abbie Clare||«Abolishing the Hukou: China's Road to Food Security?»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || There's no doubt about it, China is big news. Its unparalleled GDP growth, enigmatic Government and growing global influence make it both fascinating and fearsome to outside observers.
Yet internally China faces serious food security challenges. Its agricultural sector is stagnating under the influence of policies designed for a different economic era, one where households were the core operational unit for farms and where commercial ventures were scarce. With more than half of its population now city-based, China must re-think both its social and agricultural priorities, starting with its residential permit ('hukou') system.
This talk will outline China's recent agricultural and social history, before moving on to offer various crack-pot theories that I developed during fieldwork about the impact this will have on China's rural communities and (*doffs cap to actual PhD topic*) on their potential for the adoption of biochar as an agricultural input. |
|14 December 2012 12pm||Luke Ridley||«A study of dissolved organic matter in peatlands: molecular characterisation of a dynamic carbon reservoir»||Hutton Lecture Theatre, Grant Institute|
| ||Luke's PhD has focused on the characterisation of organic matter from a peatland in Wales at the molecular level. In this talk, he will aim to explain the context of the work, give an insight into why it was important, and run over the main findings of his thesis.
|14 November 2012 5pm||Nick Johnson||«Magnetotelluric studies of the crust and upper mantle in a zone of
active continental breakup, Afar, Ethiopia»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || The Afar region of Ethiopia is slowly being torn apart by the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Main Ethiopian rifts which all meet at this remote, barren corner of Africa. To the north and east the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden rifts have already progressed to become sea-floor spreading centres. However, active spreading on the Red Sea rift takes a landward step west into Eritrean Afar at approximately 15oN, after which divergence between the Nubian and Arabian tectonic plates is localised into ~60 km long, ~20 km wide magmatic segments that undergo periodic rifting cycles. In September 2005 a dramatic rifting episode began on one such segment of the Red Sea rift in Afar (the Dabbahu magmatic segment), whereby a 60 km long dyke containing an estimated 2.5 km3 magma was intruded in just two weeks, allowing opening of up to 8 m. Since then a further 13 smaller dykes have been intruded, and in all cases subsidence observed via geodetic observations can only account for a small fraction of the magma supply required to inflate the dykes, suggesting a deep crustal or upper mantle source must exist.
The magnetotelluric (MT) method is a passive geophysical technique, used to probe the Earth to reveal subsurface conductivity (which is very sensitive to the presence of fluids). MT data collected along profiles crossing both the Dabbahu magmatic segment and the adjacent, currently inactive, Hararo magmatic segment to the south are analysed and interpreted in conjunction with seismic and petrological constraints. Several regions of very high conductivity are found both at mid to lower-crustal depths and extending well into the mantle below the active Dabbahu segment. These are interpreted as zones of partial melt containing enough magma to supply the rift for an estimated 30 thousand years. A much smaller conductive region is also found below the Hararo segment which appears to show melt pooling at depths consistent with the Moho. At most locations the upper one to two kilometres of the crust is highly conductive suggestive of a sedimentary layer which may be saturated with brines and affected by abnormally high heat flow.
|31 October 2012 5pm||Emma Knowland||«Trick or Treat»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || Halloween is a great time of year to dress up and get free candy.....or at least that's how I grew up with it. The older I got,
the bigger the candy bag and the faster I could get from house to house. A short history on Halloween will be given and who knows, maybe a chance for a trick or treat.
|10 October 2012 5pm||Edwin Baynes||«Icelandic fieldwork: the 2nd video diary»||Room 302, Crew Building|
| || Waterfalls, rocks, an Olympic flame, an Arctic Fox and Dr. Mikael Attal rescuing a sheep.
Expect to see all of these (and more!) in my Gradtalk. I made a short video diary in Iceland during my fieldwork in August documenting what we got up to. Come along if you want to find out what work I actually do... you may even find some of it funny! If you are interested (and haven't yet seen it), the first video diary from my June fieldwork can be watched here here.
|26 September 2012 5pm||Emma Dodd||«Inter-railing around Europe»||Room 302, Crew Building|
| || It started out as a cunning plan to see a glacier (having studied the cryosphere for ~3 years I felt it was high time I saw one) and ended up as a 15 day interrail trip from Hungary to Oslo. Come and have a look at my holiday snaps (geography and geology included), hear the anecdotes and get a taste of what interrailing is really like.
|19 September 2012 5pm||Michael Spencer||«'The Welcome Weekend'»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||"This year we're heading to the *Cairngorms* and will be staying in self catering lodges at Lagganlia , near Aviemore. It's a relaxed and
tranquil setting with plenty of opportunity for adventure. The trip will take place from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October. Get it in your diaries now!"
|23 May 2012 5pm||Rachel Kilgallon||«Assessing the rate of discharge of groundwater-borne nutrients into the local
coastal ecosystem (and other exciting adventures...)»||Room 302, Crew Building|
For my MSc in 2010, I looked at the role of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) as a pathway for pollution to coastal zones. Join me at my GradTalk where I will try to remember the important bits about SGD, breeze over some results and why sampling in Portugal is better than in Ireland (hint: it has to do with the presence of sun)!
|16 May 2012 5pm||Gus Fraser Harris||«Cider Making the West-Country Way»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
Need a break from work? Feeling like your brain is fried from all that tricky science? Then come along and find out how cider is traditionally made. In October last
year, I went back to the west-country to make a little bit of cider. After finding out that it is pretty scrumm(p)y, I thought I'd give a quick talk about how cider is made and get you all to try it... Lots of pictures, nothing too complicated (west country folk are simple like that), and a chance to try as much as you like of this year's efforts!
|2 May 2012 5pm||Darren Wilkinson||«A nutshell of alternate theories of the Earth»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
What do you really know about the Earth? Ever considered all is not what you are led to believe? Whilst you garnish your face with
beer and crisps, why not join me along with, Dr Evil, Tom Cruise, George Bush, Mr Bean, a contingent of Nazi soldiers, Jackie Chan and a
few other odd-balls for a very quick whistle stop mockery of alternate earth "science". If you suffer from a high degree of gullibility or
have a particularly fragile mind, I recommend you stay at home. You have been warned.
|11 April 2012 5pm||Emma Dodd||«Are you a Ninja? A brief history of Aikido and my experiences of it»||Room 302, Crew Building|
Demonstrations, videos and watching me talk in a Gi (training uniform) are in store as I talk about my experiences of training in Aikido. I will give you a brief insight into the history of this martial art, hopefully give you an idea of what we do and why we dress up in white pyjamas and wave sticks around.
|4 April 2012 5pm||Tom Maxfield||«Biochar Fieldwork and the Ghanaian Mango»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
Sent out to Ghana, the original plan was to investigate the indigenous practice of
biochar incorporation into agricultural soils. This didn't happen though. However, with
the aid of some very (sometimes suspiciously) helpful local people and local fruit, a new
plan was hatched and a PhD born. I hope.
|28 March 2012 5pm||Michael Spencer||«My Work Funded Arctic Adventure»||Room 302, Crew Building|
From the 3rd until the 21st of March I was super lucky and received funding to travel to and work in Arctic Sweden. My talk will briefly describe the funding sources and work involved and mainly show lots of pictures of snowy mountains.
|21 March 2012 5pm||Dieter Werthmüller||«Geophysics - as dull and monotonous as Geologists think?»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
Lots of pictures and no equations, I promise. The first part consists of a very brief overview of the many fields of geophysics and their interactions with
other fields like astronomy, meteorology or geology. In the second part I will present some brief case studies from Switzerland, Russia and Syria from my work as a
geophysicist in the civil engineering industry.
|14 March 2012 5pm||Rosie Jones||«An Andean Adventure: Geology and Gauchos»||Room 302, Crew Building|
Last year I was fortunate enough to get to go to the Chilean and Argentinian Andes to collect samples for my PhD. Come along to see how I got on, learn a little about Andean geology and look at some nice pictures.|
|7 March 2012 5pm||Johannes Miocic||«How sand becomes sandstone - the role of stratigraphy in diagenesis»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || Sandstones form important reservoirs for the oil and gas industry but also for the storage of carbon. But how does sand become sandstone? Why are sandstones firm and not
loose as sand? Constructing the history of sandstones can help to understand the distribution of rock properties such as porosity and permeability. This talk will give an overview on diagenesis of sandstones and the influence of stratigraphy (mudstones, claystones) on it.|
|7 December 2011 5pm||James Lindsey||«Ugandan Energy Development Project at Peace Primary & Nursury School»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| || Energy is more vital than food or water. It is necessary for reliable healthcare, effective transportation, education and business. Industrialized nations hold an energy advantage both in terms of technology and geographic availability of reserves, which enable electricity to flow cheaply and reliably to meet any demand. Meanwhile, the other half of the 7 billion people living on Earth lack this energy advantage. Attempts by the West to develop developing nations at the multi-national level and micro-scale have failed. Come learn about an effective approach to this energy crisis in Uganda, and look at my pictures. |
|30 November 2011 5pm||Kit Carruthers||«Who Do You Think You Are? (A short history of one of Scotland's oldest families.)»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
What do Old King Cole, Walter Scott, Robert the Bruce and Martin Sheen have in common? With a history stretching back to approximately 500 AD, the Carruthers family are one of the oldest in Scotland. With a proud (and only occasionally dubious) history, come discover the skeletons in my gentrified family closet - murderers, thieves, movie stars and colonels. And for good measure, a stately home gets blown up for jolly good fun of it, although there is a twist in this tale too... |
|21 November 2011 5pm||Matthew Unterman||«An Exploration into Ice Age Weather»||Main Lecture Theatre, Grant Institute|
Hourly-scale winter weather conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM - 21 Ka) are simulated using a high resolution climate model. The simulation has been run in-tandem with a lower temporally resolved six-year climatological run. The purpose of the study is to determine: (1) whether examination of higher-resolution simulations, on both spatial and temporal scales, can enhance paleometeorological inferences based previously on monthly statistics of model output and (2) whether certain synoptic-scale events, which may have only a modest impact on seasonal statistics, might exert a disproportionate impact on geological climate records. This exploration into hourly-scale characteristics of the LGM atmosphere is focused on analysing changes in wind flow, no analogue climate "states", synoptic scale events including Northern Hemisphere cyclogenesis, and gust events over glacial dust source regions. Results show a decrease in North Atlantic and increase in North Pacific cyclogenesis during the LGM. Storm trajectories react to the mechanical forcing of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, with Pacific storms tracking over middle Alaska and northern Canada and terminate in the Labrador Sea. The latter result supports observations and other model runs showing a significant reduction in Greenland winter precipitation. The modified Pacific track results in increased precipitation and the delivery of warmer air along the west coast of North America. This could explain "early" glacial warming inferred in this region from proxy climate records, potentially representing instead a natural regional response to ice age boundary conditions. Results also indicate a low variability, "no analogue" region just south of the Laurentide Ice Sheet margin which has appropriate conditions to harbour temperature-sensitive trees west of the Appalachian Mountains. Combined with pollen data, this lends valuable insight into the known disagreement between modern seed dispersal experiments and calculated migration rates. Finally, hourly-scale gust events over dust source regions during the LGM are two to five times greater than the modern, providing a mechanism to help explain the increased glacial dust load seen in the ice cores. Backwards air-parcel trajectories from Antarctic ice core locations show air sources over Patagonia and the Altiplano with some inputs from South Africa agreeing with recent isotopic tracer analyses. Results demonstrate that high temporal and spatial resolution simulations can provide valuable insight to add to the cornucopia of information already available from lower-resolution runs. They can also enhance our interpretation of geological records, which have been previously assumed to record longer time-scale climatological mean-states and thus ignoring any extreme synoptic events which may actually have had a disproportionate impact on their preservation.
|17 November 2011 5pm||Simon Haunch||«Oil Shale Mining in the Almond River Catchment; History, Environmental Impacts and Future Potential»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||Oil shale was mined in the Almond River Catchment for approximately 100 years, between the 1860’s and 1960’s, as part of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry. Shale oil, which made Scotland one of the world first oil producing countries, was extracted from the West Lothian oil shales by exposure to temperatures above 500°C, in a variety of retort designs, via a method originally developed by James Young. Whilst the industry facilitated Scotland’s industrial development it has resulted in continued environmental impacts from abandoned mines, mine waste and chemical processing sites. Mining and mine closure produces contaminated mine waters containing elevated iron, sulphate and other heavy metals. River quality monitoring data across the Almond catchment indicates that oil shale mines significantly increases loading of iron, which is known to coat river beds and disturb river ecology. Waste from mining and processing of oil shale has been approximated at 150 million tonnes and whilst the heating process (which destroys most of the shale’s pyrite content) results in a waste considered less environmentally damaging than other mine wastes, evidence suggests that the waste may still pose concern. Retorting sites, where shale oil was extracted, are also likely to have environmental impacts because of the likelihood of hydrocarbon ground contamination. Estimates suggest that there are still approximately 300 million tonnes of un-mined oil shale in Scotland, which could yield up to 120 million barrels of crude oil. Exploitation via mining however seems unlikely because of modern environmental legislation and public perception of new mining activities.|
|20 October 2011 5pm||Luke Ridley||«Luke Ridley and the End of the World»||Room 302, Crew Building|
| ||Bad news folks - the world is about to end this Friday, at least if the often-derided preacher Harold Camping is to be believed. But - how will this disaster occur? Will the earth spin out of its orbit and plunge into the sun, or will a super volcano cover the world in a choking layer of ash? This Thursday, the first GradTalk of the year will take a light hearted but hopefully informative look at the end-of-world scenarios.|
|27 April 2011 5pm||Rob Shore||«Philosophies of Science»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||We're all studying to obtain Doctorates of Philosophy, so it behoves us to know the defensibility of our claims, and to examine why science is afforded the special place it occupies when it comes to describing the world. I will assess the historical progression (not always linear) of developments in two concepts: what science has to say about itself, and what science can therefore tell us about the world at large.|
|20 April 2011 5pm||Amber Annett||«Iron and Copper - An Oceanic Romance»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||Iron plays an important role in biologically mediated global carbon cycling by limiting productivity in vast areas of the ocean. How phytoplankton acquire and use iron in these regions has been the focus of numerous studies which have found that use of copper may play a key role in adaptation to low-iron conditions. Starting with some basic oceanography and a discussion of geo-engineering proposals, I will present the results of my undergraduate lab work and explain why iron needs copper and copper needs iron.|
|13 April 2011 5pm||Lizzie Entwistle ||«Using Infrasound to track and monitor volcanic eruptions»||Room 302, Crew Building|
| ||Volcano Infrasound is a relatively new technique used to monitor and track large ash producing eruptions. Like seismics, infrasound is a wave phenomenon, but refers to propagation through the atmosphere as opposed to propagation through the ground. During this talk I shall present the work I carried out on Volcano Infrasound during a 6-week internship at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)... with a few photos of my time spent in Canada slipped in for good measure!|
|30 March 2011 5pm||Matt Walker ||«Texas and New Mexico Carbonates»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||Paleozoic exposures of strata in the New Mexico and Texas basins offer a unique opportunity to study varied carbonate lithologies, local facies changes and the products of diagenesis within a variety of shelf and carbonate buildups. It is also possible to see sequence stratigraphic features, which normally might only be identifiable in seismic section, very clearly. This talk will overview the carbonate geology visited by the ICCR fieldtrip to that area, and discuss how it might relate to geophysical measurement. |
|9 March 2011 5pm||Louise Barron||«The effect of exchange and magnetostatic interactions on grain boundaries»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||Magnetic minerals are abundant within our Earth's crust and can retain, through one of a number of processes, a remanent magnetisation induced by the Earth's magnetic field. Analyses of palaeomagnetic samples have been used for the past fifty years to improve our understanding of many of the Earth's major processes. Recent studies utilising newly developed imaging techniques, namely holographic transmission electron microscopy, have for the first time allowed direct observations of the magnetic structure in palaeomagnetic samples on a nanoscale. It is commonly observed that igneous rocks contain closely packed magnetic lamellae with a non-magnetic matrix, a result of the chemical process of exsolution. However, the results of current micromagnetic models, generated to predict the magnetic structure within such samples, are not in agreement with these direct observations. The results do, however, show strong similarities to the direct observations. The discrepancies between the direct observations and micromagnetic models indicate a lack of understanding of the magnetic interactions within such samples. To examine this two distinct hypotheses have been tested. Firstly, the geometry of the system has been altered to examine the effect of this on the magnetic structure of the grains. Secondly, a multiphase model has been produced. This multiphase model allows the simulation of more complicated systems that include more than one magnetic material in direct contact. This multiphase model has allowed us to examine the effect of varying the exchange in these multiphase structures and its effect on the modelled magnetic structure. Further, this multiphase model has allowed us to examine theoretical systems involving combinations of magnetic materials commonly found in palaeomagnetic samples. |
|2 March 2011 5pm||Darren Wilkinson ||«The Geochemistry of Eclogites in Western Norway: What the world's prettiest rock can tell us!»||Room 304b, Grant Institute|
| ||Darren will discuss how he plans to use eclogites to understand some important processes in subduction zones, and also to determine the tectonic environment of the original igneous protolith!|