Sarah Bruihler: Summer in the Bahamas, like summer in the Precambrian

Posted on October 26th, 2017 by

Hi there! I’m Sarah Bruihler and I’m a senior in the Geology Department. Last summer I worked with Julie Bartley on stromatolite research; for my senior thesis I will be doing a comparison of modern and ancient stromatolites, identifying similarities and differences between them. In June, Julie and I traveled for a week to the Little Darby Island Research Station in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas.

The research station is run by Pamela Reid (University of Miami), who was very eager to host us, teach us about the environments that surround the island, and give great advice into what direction my thesis project could go in! The Exuma Cays are a carbonate environment, with stromatolites growing in many localities!

While at the research station we were able to observe many different types of carbonate environments – we learned about the various inhabitants (sponges, calcifying algae, Callianassa shrimp, corals, etc.) of a carbonate shoal, hypersaline ponds with microbial mats growing, and of course, we got to see the modern stromatolites growing right off the coast of Little Darby Island. While we didn’t collect any samples for ourselves (as we are planning on borrowing samples rather than disturbing the stromatolites), we were able to assist another researcher with collecting her samples. I learned so much during the short time that we were on the island, it was a great experience that I was able to have, thanks to the Geology Department and the Petroleum Research Fund!

 

 

Comments are closed.