• Image of Team Coral
  • Image of Team Coral
  • Image of Team Coral

THE SCIENCE
Bethany Ellis
ANU Research School of Earth Sciences

Bethany is a palaeoclimatologist, who reconstructs the climate of the past. She is using coral cores from giant dome shaped corals that can live for a few hundred years. Each year as a coral grows it adds a new layer to its skeleton, just like trees grow rings. As a new layer of skeleton is added it incorporates a chemical trace of the ocean temperature. By analysing the chemistry of the coral skeleton, she can determine what the temperature of the ocean was at the time the coral was growing.

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THE ART
Lexi Keelan
Art by Lexi

Lexi was inspired by the way Bethany examines the layers in core samples of coral to determine events such as changes in the climate. The design shows the inside section of a Porites coral so you can see the layers and some of the events the coral has lived through. Lexi aimed to create a fun combination of fact and fiction when making the tags for some of the coral’s layers.

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This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

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