Lecture: Limestones, Microbes and Viruses

Speaker: Professor Maurice Tucker, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

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 are skeletal-bioclastic-reefal limestones, oolites (like the Bath stone) and microbialites (like the Cotham Marble). Although the roles of bacteria are well known in the formation of stromatolites, 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……

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