Catalyst for life on earth revealed
Tue 19th April 2016
Catalyst Centre tenant, Dr Thomas Gernon of Volturnus, was in the media spotlight recently as awareness grew about some groundbreaking research which he conducted during a sabbatical at the Science Park’s Incubation Centre. The research paper has attracted considerable attention in the scientific and mainstream media after it was initially published in the journal, Nature Geoscience.
Dr Gernon, the lead author of the study, suggested an intriguing solution to an age-old conundrum for geoscientists: how and why did ocean chemistry change as Earth emerged from its deep freeze 700 million years ago? The answer - underwater volcanoes. The widespread explosive underwater volcanoes were the catalyst for change, transforming the Earth from icehouse to greenhouse. These sub-marine volcanoes helped transform our planet, sparking a chemical chain of reactions, which ultimately led to life on earth.
Dr Gernon said: “Being based in the Incubation Centre surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals really inspired me during the course of this project. The entrepreneurial buzz prompted me to start-up my own business as part of the Catalyst Programme here.”