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October RASC meeting

 " Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents and the Origin of Life on Earth"

Laura McLarnon
smoker vent

Date:    October 19, 2018

Time:    8:00 - 10:30 PM
Place:  SMU, The Atrium, AT101

In 1977 the first deep sea hydrothermal vents were discovered.  Until then, life was thought to only exist within the photic zone of the ocean (top 200 m).  The discovery of numerous multicellular communities at the vents came as a shock.  The high pressure and extreme heat were thought to destroy life yet here was vibrant symbiotic community at 2,000 ft!
Over the past decade, groundbreaking research has been made at white smoker vents.  Scientists have been able to recreate very strong proton gradient through the interaction of carbon dioxide and molecular hydrogen through the process of serpentinization that can produce organics in exothermic reactions.  The formation of organics, lipids and fatty acids could have provided the necessary incubation conditions to produce life.  The ocean offers a plausible safe haven in an otherwise very hostile period in Earth development.

Bio:    Captain (retired) Laura McLarnon.  CD1.  BSc (Bio), MSc (Astronomy), 
Born in Montreal, Laura joined the Air Force in 1990 and became an Air Navigator where she flew over 6,000 hours in the Aurora Long Range Patrol Aircraft.  Retired since April 2017, she now enjoys traveling and photography as they are easier on the body than Ironman triathlons!   When not questioning everything, she loves making PowerPoint presentations on fun stuff like serpentinization! She now lives in Lawrencetown (in the Annapolis Valley) where she serves as a village commissioner, the Farm Museum IT rep, a proud Lion, and hopeless perennial tamer!  She also owns a dog (an upgrade from the last boyfriend) and two cats that keep her humble.  


Treats will be provided for the social time that follows the meeting.



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 September 2018 11:02 )
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