Melonis barleeanus’ test internal structure (scale bar = 20 microns). The calcareous wall (in blue, yellow, and green) of this species is characterized by the presence of silicate grains (in violet, red, and pink), which compositional analysis revealed to be quartz and feldspars. Because its unusual test structure, M. barleeanus is an example of a calcareous and (facultative) agglutinated foraminifera. This finding was recently published in Scientific Reports (Borrelli, Panieri et al. Novel biomineralization strategy in calcareous foraminifera, 2018) and presented at several international conferences (2018 EGU, Vienna AU; FORAMS2018, Edinburg, UK; 2017 Goldschmidt, Paris, FR). Considering the importance of M. barleeanus in paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic studies, the influence of silicate grains on the isotopic composition of this species is now the focus of the project “Paleoceanographic implications of the unusual biomineralization strategy of M. barleeanus”. This study is carried on by Chiara Borrelli, Research Associate and Lecturer at the University of Rochester (USA), together with Giuliana Panieri, CAGE. Chiara arrived at CAGE in mid-January as a visiting scientist.
Photo Credit: Trine Dahl
Submitted by: Chiara Borrelli & Giuliana Panieri