Understanding the cycling of inorganic germanium in the ocean during the present and past using the Ge/Si signature of diatoms and sponges

This project aims to understand germanium cycling in ocean during the present and during the past. Germanium is located below silicon in the periodic table, thus their chemistries are similar. Using the Ge/Si ratio of diatom shells is one way of tracking changes in ocean chemistry.

This project involves growing marine diatoms to ground-truth the uptake of germanium into diatom silica and then measure the Ge/Si ratio of fossil diatoms to see whether ocean chemistry have varied through time. (Collaborators: Stephen Eggins - RSES & Bill Maher - University of Canberra)