Bock Christian

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Exploring new frontiers in marine radioisotope tracing - adapting to new opportunities and challenges

2020-06-03 , Cresswell, Tom , Metian, Marc , Fisher, Nicholas S. , Charmasson, Sabine , Hansman, Roberta L. , Bam, Wokil , Bock, Christian , Swarzenski, Peter W.

Radioisotopes have been used in earth and environmental sciences for over 150 years and provide unique tools to study environmental processes in great detail from a cellular level through to an oceanic basin scale. These nuclear techniques have been employed to understand coastal and marine ecosystems via laboratory and field studies in terms of how aquatic organisms respond to environmental stressors, including temperature, pH, nutrients, metals, organic anthropogenic contaminants, and biological toxins. Global marine issues, such as ocean warming, deoxygenation, plastic pollution, ocean acidification, increased duration, and intensity of toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs), and coastal contamination are all impacting marine environments, thereby imposing various environmental and economic risks. Being able to reliably assess the condition of coastal and marine ecosystems, and how they may respond to future disturbances, can provide vital information for society in the sustainable management of their marine environments. This paper summarizes the historical use of radiotracers in these systems, describes how existing techniques of radioecological tracing can be developed for specific current environmental issues and provides information on emerging issues that would benefit from current and new radiotracer methods. Current challenges with using radioecological tracers and opportunities are highlighted, as well as opportunities to maximize the application of these methods to greatly increase the ability of environmental managers to conduct evidence-based management of coastal and marine ecosystems.

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Digital three-dimensional imaging techniques provide new analytical pathways for malacological research

2018-12-01 , Ziegler, Alexander , Bock, Christian , Ketten, Darlene R. , Mair, Ross W. , Mueller, Susanne , Nagelmann, Nina , Pracht, Eberhard D. , Schröder, Leif

Research on molluscan specimens is increasingly being carried out using high-throughput molecular techniques. Due to their efficiency, these technologies have effectively resulted in a strong bias towards genotypic analyses. Therefore, the future large-scale correlation of such data with the phenotype will require a significant increase in the output of morphological studies. Three-dimensional (3D) scanning techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) can achieve this goal as they permit rapidly obtaining digital data non-destructively or even entirely non-invasively from living, fixed, and fossil samples. With a large number of species and a relatively complex morphology, the Mollusca would profit from a more widespread application of digital 3D imaging techniques. In order to provide an overview of the capacity of various MRI and CT techniques to visualize internal and external structures of molluscs, more than twenty specimens ranging in size from a few millimeters to well over one meter were scanned in vivo as well as ex vivo. The results show that all major molluscan organ systems can be successfully visualized using both MRI and CT. The choice of a suitable imaging technique depends primarily on the specimen's life condition, its size, the required resolution, and possible invasiveness of the approach. Apart from visual examples derived from more than two dozen scans, the present article provides guidelines and best practices for digital 3D imaging of a broad range of molluscan taxa. Furthermore, a comprehensive overview of studies that previously have employed MRI or CT techniques in malacological research is given.