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June 2018

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Modelling and volcanic ash forecast at Barcelona Supercomputing Center
Dr Arnau Floch

Modelling and volcanic ash forecast at Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Event date: 11 June 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualisation Laboratory (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr Arnau Floch
About the speaker:

Dr Arnau Folch is a senior researcher at Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Author of more than 80 scientific publications, he leads the Environmental Simulations research group. He has participated in more than 40 national and European competitive research projects and in multiple contracts with private companies. From 2011 he acts as the liaison officer between the International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy (IUGG) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and lead the Commission on tephra Hazard Modelling of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI). He has a wide expertise in ash dispersal forecasting and is one of the developers of the numerical model for ash transport FALL3D, widely used worldwide. He is also a permanent member of the Volcanic Ash Scientific Advisory Group (VASAG) of the IUGG-WMO.

 


Modelling and forecasting of atmospheric transport of volcanic ash are experiencing considerable advances boosted by the economic and social impacts of recent events. Aspects such as model data assimilation, ensemble forecast, probabilistic modelling, or impact analysis are progressively being incorporated by the volcanological community and implemented both at scientific and operational level. The Environmental Simulations group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) works and researches in the areas of urban and microscale wind, wind energy, and atmospheric dispersion modelling, with particular emphasis on volcanic ash. This last topic covers the development of in-house models and its implementation on High-Performance Computing (HPC) environments. FALL3D, WARIS-Transport and ATLAS are examples of off-line models for tephra transport. NMMB/BSC-ASH is an on-line meteorological and chemical transport model developed in collaboration with the U.S National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). SORT-ATM is a tool to evaluate the impact of volcanic ash and mineral dust on civil aviation. Associated methodologies include the assessment of eruption source parameters (e.g. infrasound, volcanic plume models) or the use of satellite images. On the other hand, the Environmental Simulations group collaborates also with other institutions in the modelling of volcanic ash resuspension and ensemble-based forecast using Kalman filters, with very promising preliminary results.

 

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Forest and their fungi: Mycorrhizal symbiosis and the future of earth
Dr. Colin Averill, Boston University

Forest and their fungi: Mycorrhizal symbiosis and the future of earth

Event date: 12 June 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Colin Averill, Boston University
About the speaker:

Colin Averill completed an undergraduate degree in Biology at Boston University, Boston MA USA, and a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and behavior at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. During his graduate career he was awarded a U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, and multiple outstanding publication awards for the Ecological Society of America for his contributions to soil ecology and biogeochemistry. He currently holds a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate and Global Change postdoctoral fellowship to study how mycorrhizal fungi mediate carbon climate interactions from molecular to global scales.


Mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiosis with the roots of most trees on Earth. These fungi can connect link trees via common mycorrhizal networks, mediating strong positive interactions between different species. Yet, diversity in in the types of mycorrhizal fungi and how they engage with soil resources can also mediate strong negative interactions across fungal networks. In this seminar I will present evidence demonstrating how soil microbial - mycorrhizal interactions at the molecular scale can alter soil conditions with effects that ripple up to the ecosystem scale. Furthermore, understanding the nature of these interactions may be critical for forecasting future distributions of forests on Earth, the capacity of forests to sequester CO2 and in turn future states of the Earth's climate.

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Forest and their fungi: How mycorrhizal fungi connect our forests
Dr. Colin Averill, Boston University

Forest and their fungi: How mycorrhizal fungi connect our forests

Event date: 13 June 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Colin Averill, Boston University
About the speaker:

Colin Averill completed an undergraduate degree in Biology at Boston University, Boston MA USA, and a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and behavior at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. During his graduate career he was awarded a U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, and multiple outstanding publication awards for the Ecological Society of America for his contributions to soil ecology and biogeochemistry. He currently holds a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate and Global Change postdoctoral fellowship to study how mycorrhizal fungi mediate carbon climate interactions from molecular to global scales.


Nearly all trees are in symbiosis with microscopic fungi on their roots, trading plant sugars for fungal acquired nutrients. New research suggests these fungi can connect trees, even of different species, allowing plants to work together to overcome ecological stresses. Yet, different classes of mycorrhizal fungi can also mediate competition among entire forest types. We will discuss how these fungi can mediate both positive and negative interactions among trees, as well as how pollution environmental change is altering the composition of forests all over the world by affecting the forest fungal microbiome.

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Ash clouds, aviation and risk: How to make fast and robust decisions during the next volcanic eruption
Dr. Andrew Prata

Ash clouds, aviation and risk: How to make fast and robust decisions during the next volcanic eruption

Event date: 19 June 2018 - 12:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Viz Laboratory Room (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Prata
About the speaker:

Dr Andrew Prata recently completed a postdoc at the University of Reading (UK) working with Rolls-Royce, British Airways and the UK Civil Aviation Authority to develop new methods for communicating uncertainty in volcanic ash concentration forecasts to the aviation industry. Andrew completed his PhD at Monash University (Australia) in 2017 after completing an Honours Degree at Monash in 2012 and a BSc at the University of Melbourne in 2010. His PhD research focussed on using satellite measurements to detect and retrieve quantitative properties of volcanic clouds, which was motivated by the need to mitigate the associated impacts of volcanic eruptions on civil aviation and to provide a deeper understanding of the radiative properties of volcanic clouds. Andrew will be talking about his research at Reading.


During volcanic eruptions, aviation stakeholders require an assessment of the volcanic ash hazard. Operators and regulators are required to make fast decisions based on deterministic forecasts, which are subject to various sources of uncertainty. For a robust decision to be made, a measure of the uncertainty of the hazard should be considered but this can lead to added complexity preventing fast decision making. Here we present a risk matrix approach that combines uncertainty estimation and volcanic ash hazard forecasting into a simple warning system for aviation.
 
To demonstrate the methodology, an ensemble is used to characterise uncertainty in ash dosages and concentrations for trans-Atlantic air-routes intersecting ash clouds produced by a hypothetical Icelandic eruption. This approach has been developed in collaboration with operators, regulators and engine manufacturers; it demonstrates how an assessment of ash dosage and concentration risk can be used to make fast and robust flight-planning decisions even when the model uncertainty spans several orders of magnitude. The results highlight the benefit of using an ensemble over a deterministic forecast and a new method for visualising dosage risk along flight paths.

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Phytoplankton-virus interaction in the ocean: A new mechanism of viral immunity in marine phytoplankton
Hervé Moreau

Phytoplankton-virus interaction in the ocean: A new mechanism of viral immunity in marine phytoplankton

Event date: 25 June 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualisation Laboratory (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Hervé Moreau
About the speaker:

Hervé Moreau is “Directeur de Recherche” at CNRS (Centre Nacional de la Recherche Scientifique) at the Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls (France) and currently Adjunct Scientific Director of the Biological Science Institute (ISB) of CNRS.  In the last 15 years he has been working on marine eukaryotes pico- phytoplankton and its interaction with viruses.  He has coordinated several European and French research projects including the international consortium for the sequencing and annotation of the microalga Ostreococcus tauri, known as the tiniest free living eukariotic cell. Recently, he is leading the PHYTADAPT project which focus on the adaptation of phytoplankton and acclimation of phytoplankton to the long Arctic winter night. He has published several papers in high impact journal on both genomics and physiology of green algae.


Mamiellophyceae is an ecologically important class of green microalgae in ocean and Prasinoviruses infecting them are probably the most numerous kind of large DNA viruses of eukaryotes in the sea. Surviving a viral attack is essential for any species to avoid its irreversible removal from the ecosystem, and microbes must involve the resistance or susceptibility of individual cells. The co-existence between viruses and their hosts has led to the evolution of complex viral attack and host defence strategies. We showed that Mamiellophyceae, as all phytoplankton populations, is largely controlled by these hugely diverse populations of viruses. We sequenced many of them and showed that mechanisms of resistance operate in these species. Virus resistant cell lines arise in many independent cell lines during lytic infections. In these resistant lines, over-expression of all genes in more than half of an unusual chromosome in resistant lines, and karyotypic analyses showed physical rearrangements of this chromosome. It has an unusual genetic structure whose equivalent is found in all of the sequenced genomes in this ecologically important group of green algae. We propose that structural instability of this chromosome is under the control of viral infection and provide a viral immunity.

 

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