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Mass extinctions


We investigate the relationships between extreme environmental change (global warming and cooling events), global oceanic anoxic events (OAEs), meteorite impact related events, biogeochemical cycles, and geobiology recovery of life across major events in Earth history. These include also the five largest mass extinction events of our planet: end-Ordovician, end-Devonian, end-Permian, end-Triassic and end-Cretaceous.

marine extinctions
Sepkoski’s Curve, indicating major marine fauna diversity through the Cambrian to Tertiary. Raup & Sepkoski 1982. Science 215, 1501-1503.

We address these interactions by analysing the biomarker and stable isotopic signatures (carbon, hydrogen, sulfur and nitrogen) of marine biota preserved in ancient sediments including microbial formed calcium carbonate concretions within shales/rocks. We apply this information to reconstruct changing environments and evolutionary biology: ocean temperature, marine productivity, redox conditions, ecology of planktonic organisms, carbon, sulfur, nitrogen cycling, hydrogeological cycles, and terrestrial contributions to the marine realm.

Examples of publications

Fenton, S., Grice, K., Twitchett, R., Bottcher, M., Looy, C.V., Nabbefeld, B. 2007. Changes in Biomarker Abundances and Sulfur Isotopes of Pyrite across the Permian-Triassic (P/Tr) Schuchert Dal Section (East Greenland). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 262 230-23.

Grice K., Gibbison, R., Atkinson, J.E., Eckardt, C.B., Schwark, L., Maxwell, J.R. 1996. 1H-pyrrole-2,5,-diones (maleimides of anoxygenic photosynthesis in paleowater columns. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 60 3913-3924.

Grice, K., Cao, C., Love, G.D., Bottcher, M.E., Twitchett, R.J., Grosjean, E., Summons, R.E., Turgeon, S., Dunning, W.J., Yin, Y. 2005. Photic zone euxinia during the Permian-Triassic Superanoxic event. Science 307, 706-709.

Grice, K., Twitchett, R.J., Alexander, R., Foster, C.B., Looy, C. 2005. A potential biomarker for the Permian-Triassic ecological crisis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 236, 315-321.

Grice, K., Backhouse, J., Alexander R., Marshall, N., Logan, G.A. 2005 Correlating terrestrial signatures from biomarker distributions, δ13C , and palynology in fluvio-deltaic deposits from NW Australia (Triassic-Jurassic).Organic Geochemistry 36, 1347-1358.

Grice, K., Summons, R.E., Grosjean, E., Twitchett, R., Dunning, W.J., Wang, S., Bottcher, M.E. 2005. Depositional conditions of the Northern onshore Perth basin (Basal Triassic). Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Limited Australia 1, 263-273.

Grice, K., Nabbefeld, B., Maslen, E. 2007. Source and Significance of Selected Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sediments (Hovea-3 well, Perth Basin, Western Australia) Spanning the Permian-Triassic Boundary. Organic Geochemistry 38, 1795-1803.

Grice, K., Lu, H., Atahan, P., Hallmann, C., Asif, M., Greenwood, P.F., Tulipani, S., Maslen, E., Williford, K.H., and Dodson, J. 2009. New insights into the origin of perlyene in geological samples Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 6531-6543.

Hays, L., Grice, K., Foster, C.B., Summons, R.E. 2012. Biomarker and isotopic trends from a Permian-Triassic sedimentary section at Kap-Stosch, Greenland. Organic Geochemistry 43, 67-82.

Jaraula, C.M.B, Grice, K., Twitchett, R.,J., Böttcher, M.E., Le Metayer, P., Dastidar, A.G., Opazo, L.F. 2013. Elevated pCO2 leading to Late triassic extinction, persistent photic zone euxinia, and rising sea levels Geology 41, 955-958.

Luo, G., Wang, Y., Grice, K., Jia, C., Xie, S. 2013. Microbial-algal community changes during the latest Permian ecological crisis: Evidence from lipid biomarkers at Cili, South China. Global and Planetary Change 105, 36-51.

Melendez, I., Grice, K., Schwark, L. 2013. Exceptional preservation of palaeozoic steroids in a diagenetic continuum. Nature Scientific Reports 3.

Melendez, I., Grice, K., Trinajstic, K., Ladjavardi, M., Thompson, K., Greenwood, P.F. 2013. Biomarkers reveal the role of photic zone euxinia in exceptional fossil preservation: An organic geochemical perspective. Geology 41, 123-126

Metcalfe, I., Nicholl, R.S., Willink, R., Ladjavardi, M., Grice, K. 2013. Early Triassic (Induan-Olenekian) conodont biostratigraphy, global anoxia, carbon isotope excursions and environmental perturbations: New data from Western Australian Gondwana. Gondwana Research23, 1136-1150.

Nabbefeld, B., Grice, K., Schimmelmann, A., Summons, R.E., Troitzsch, A., Twitchett, R.J. 2010. A comparison of thermal maturity parameters between freely extracted hydrocarbons (Bitumen I) and a second extract (Bitumen II) from within the kerogen matrix of Permian and Triassic sedimentary rocks. Organic Geochemistry 41, 78-87.

Nabbefeld, B., Grice, K., Schimmelmann, A., Sauer, P.E., Böttcher, M.E., Twitchett, R.J. 2010. Significance of δDkerogen, δ13Ckerogen and δ34Spyrite from several Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) sections Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 295, 21-29.

Nabbefeld, B., Grice, K., Twitchett, R.J., Summons, R.E., Hays, L., Böttcher, M.E., Muhammad, A. 2010.  An integrated biomarker, isotopic and palaeoenvironmental study through the Late Permian event at Lusitaniadalen, Spitsbergen Earth and Planetary Science Letters 291, 84-96.

Nabbefeld, B., Grice, K., Summons, R.E., Hays, L., 2010. Significance of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Permian/Triassic boundary sections. Applied Geochemistry 25, 1374-1382.

Naeher. S. and Grice, K., 2015. Novel 1H-Pyrrole-2,5-dione (maleimide) proxies for the assessment of persistent photic zone euxinia. Chemical Geology 404, 100-109.

Thomas, B.M., Willink, R.J., Grice, K., Twitchett, R.J., Purcell, R.R., Archbold, N.W., George, A.D., Tye, S., Alexander, R., Foster, C.B., Barber, C.J. 2004. Unique marine Permian/Triassic boundary section from Western Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. 51, 423-430.

Tulipani, S., Grice, K., Greenwood, P.F., Schwark, L., Summons, R.E., Böttcher, M.E., Foster, C.B., 2015. Molecular proxies as indicators of freshwater incursion-driven salinity stratification. Chemical Geology 409, 61-68.

Tulipani, S., Grice, K., Greenwood, P.F, Haines, P., Sauer, P., Schimmelmann, A., Summons, R.E., Foster, C.B. Böttcher, M.E., Playton, T., and Schwark, L. 2015. Changes in palaeoenvironmental conditions in Late Devonian Reef systems from the Canning Basin, WA: A biomarker and stable isotope approach. Gondwana Research, in press.

Williford, K.H., Grice, K., Holman, A., McElwain, J.C., 2014. An organic record of terrestrial ecosystem collapse and recovery at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary in East Greenland. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 127, 251-263.