Paleontologist and biological oceanographer Elizabeth Sibert will speak about the changing oceans at College of the Atlantic on April 3. PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

Climate Change Speaker Series to start

BAR HARBOR — Paleontologist, biological oceanographer and Harvard Society Junior Fellow Elizabeth Sibert opens College of the Atlantic’s Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series with a talk entitled “A History from the Bottom of the Sea: Microfossils, Marine Ecosystems, and Global Change” in McCormick Lecture hall on Monday, April 3, at 4:10 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Using tools from paleontology, oceanography and biology, Sibert peers into our oceans’ past in order to help understand their future. Sibert, a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, synthesizes extensive knowledge of marine ecosystems in order to understand how life in the oceans is changing with global temperatures.

“My job,” said Sibert, “is to look back into Earth’s history, across major global change events that have occurred in the past, to search for clues about how ecosystems may respond to modern climate change and other anthropogenic stressors.”

Sibert graduated from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2016 with a doctorate in oceanography. Her studies are primarily focused on deep-sea sediments and the fossilized traces of fish found therein.

In her talk, Sibert will bring together ideas from her own research and that of other notable paleoceanographers to explore the evolution of fish in their open ocean ecosystems and through a variety of environments over the past 85 million years.

“I am interested in understanding how global change influences the structure and function of ecosystems, and whether those mechanisms change through time,” Sibert said.

The Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series aims to create positive discussion and planning for climate change by fostering common discourse across disciplines and breaking down barriers to understanding. The series runs April through May and includes climate thinkers from the fields of earth science, food systems, history, public policy, anthropology and energy.

“Experts from different fields are working on issues associated with climate change, but communication about the topic across academic disciplines and within our general society is difficult,” said Sarah Hall, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair of Earth Systems and Geosciences. “We intend to build a common discourse and background knowledge to encourage more productive conversations about the climate.”

The Speaker Series roster is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between Hall, Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems Kourtney Collum, Director of energy education and management Anna Demeo, anthropology professor Netta van Vliet, and Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business Jay Friedlander. Each presentation takes place in McCormick Lecture Hall, is free and open to the public and includes a question-and-answer period.

The Speaker Series runs parallel to Hall’s Seminar on Climate Change. The course surveys Earth’s climate variations over the past 85 million years. Proper vocabulary and scientific background allow students to interpret and discuss reported climate science, as well as critically evaluate discussions around modern climate change and projected climate change scenarios.

See the entire Speaker Series schedule and learn more about Hall at Visit for all upcoming events.

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