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Dr. Madelyn Mette will moderate a scientific session and present recent work titled “Bridging the gap between corals and bivalves: Development of mollusk proxy archives along the Florida, USA coastline.”

Sclerochronology is the study of physical and chemical variations in sequentially deposited skeletal structures of organisms (think: the study of tree rings and how they grow). These methods can be used to determine the environmental variables that influence an organism throughout its life – essentially allowing scientists to take measurements “back in time.”

At the 6th International Sclerochronology Conference 2023 in Toyko, Japan, held May 22-25, 2023, Dr. Madelyn Mette will present her efforts to develop mollusk proxy archives along the coast of Florida. For this research, Dr. Mette will compare histories of environmental data collected from mollusk shells with those that have been recorded from corals–another proxy of environmental conditions like past temperature and salinity dynamics. Understanding how these proxies record complementary information can help scientists develop more complete histories of environmental variability—a key component in exploring long-term climate history.

Fourteen shells are pictured with details about species name and collection locality.
Various species of bivalve shells with potential to serve as environmental proxy archives. The shells will be studied to understand their lifespan and geochemical properties.


The International Sclerochronology Conference brings together the world’s leading experts on the application of environmental proxy archives from skeletal organisms (e.g., shells, fish otoliths, corals) to discuss development in the field. The triennial gathering typically results in project development and research syntheses that improve the science and take the field in new directions. Following this year’s event, Dr. Mette will serve on the scientific committee for planning future meetings.


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