Lectures are open to all and there is no charge for admission. However regular attendees are expected to be members of the society.

7:45pm for 8:00pm

Sorby Room, Wager Building, (formerly Geoscience),
The University of Reading,
Whiteknights, Reading.
Use Car Park 8


Monday 13 May 2019

Limestones, Microbes and Viruses

Role of bacteria and viruses in carbonate precipitation
Prof. Maurice Tucker, University of Bristol

Carbonate rocks, that is limestones and dolomites, are a feature of the sedimentary record, right back to the oldest strata (~4200 Ma old). Common types in England are shelly-reefal limestones, as in the Silurian and Carboniferous, oolites (like the Bath stone), deeper-water limestones like the Chalk, and microbialites (like the Cotham 'Landscape' Marble in the Bristol area). Although the roles of bacteria are well known in the formation of stromatolites (which go right back to the early Precambrian), totally ignored is the possibility that viruses may be involved in limestone deposition. Viruses are everywhere, in greater abundance than bacteria, but dependent upon them. New evidence from modern microbial mats and from lab experiments is showing that viruses can be permineralised and can influence carbonate precipitation. Could viruses provide the seeds for limestone formation? This talk explores the potential role of viruses in carbonate precipitation. Viruses are the new frontier in Earth Science…

Professor Maurice Tucker is a visiting Professor at the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. His interests are in rocks that fizz: limestones and dolomites, but also evaporites too, and even clastics. His focus is on the deposition, diagenesis and geochemistry of carbonate sediments of any age from any where – from those forming today, right back to some of the oldest. He is part of the Carbonates Research Group in Bristol, headed by Fiona Whitaker and works very closely with Mirek Słowakiewicz (OGU Bristol-Warsaw) and Edoardo Perri (Calabria) on biomarkers, microbes and viruses in modern microbial mats, Zechstein dolomites and other carbonates.

Programme 2019

The programme for 2019 as currently proposed is also available as a pdf document.

Other programmes

Previous years programmes and other programme information can be found on the About us page.