Calcareous Laboratory

Science Center Objects

In the Calcareous Lab, we use paleoecologic analyses of cores from the eastern U.S. and Gulf Coast to reconstruct past coastal environments and apply that information to current restoration efforts. Most of our current work is focused on South Florida and Everglades restoration.

In the Field

Sediment cores are collected in the field typically in estuarine or nearshore environments using different coring equipment depending on the water level and sediment type.

Modern samples of the current living faunal and floral species in the estuaries are noted and collected using a variety of methods. By studying the modern environment and the conditions, including water characteristics such as temperature, salinity, and pH, in which mollusks and other animals and plants are living today, we can better interpret the cores.

 

In the Lab

Once the cores are brought back to the lab, they are described, photographed, sliced into 1-cm intervals, and subsampled for a variety of analyses including examination of ostracods, foraminifera, diatoms, pollen, and other geochemical analyses. Our lab focuses on the mollusks in the cores. We wash each core interval on mesh sieves, dry the sample, and identify and count the molluscan assemblage.