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Seminar: Dr. Rogier Braakman, MIT Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

September 27, 2017 @ 3:35 am - 4:35 pm

Rogier Braakman guest seminar speaker from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary SciencesUNC Marine Sciences’ is proud to host a seminar by Rogier Braakman, Ph.D.

Presenter Affiliation: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Title: Metabolic evolution and the self-organization of the biosphere

Abstract: Metabolism is the biochemical network that supplies the energy and building blocks for all cells on Earth. The collective metabolism of all cells in turn mediates the global biogeochemical cycles, which regulate Earth’s climate. Reconstructing metabolic evolution provides a powerful lens for linking evolutionary dynamics across levels of biological organization and for understanding the chemical co-evolution of Earth and the biosphere. I will illustrate these ideas using globally abundant oceanic phytoplankton and co-occurring bacteria as a model system. I will argue the macroevolution of this system drew down nutrients in the surface oceans, thereby increasing total ecosystem biomass, while also increasing levels of dissolved organic carbon. I will further argue this evolutionary dynamic produced a collective mutualism in oceanic microbial ecosystems that is highly similar to that of organelles within plant cells. Finally I will argue that the evolutionary self-organization of oceanic microbial ecosystems contributed to the oxygenation of Earth, and more generally that the rise of atmospheric oxygen reflects an increasing metabolic rate of the biosphere.

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Date:
September 27, 2017
Time:
3:35 am - 4:35 pm
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