Jovana Alkalaj, a PhD student at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland will present her work:
Ostracods and why we should care
Ostracods are a class of tiny, aquatic Crustaceans, usually around 0.5-2mm in length. Their bodies are protected by a hinged, bivalve-like calcareous shell. This shell can often be preserved in sediments for thousands, even millions of years, which makes them useful for palaeontologists. They generally inhabit most aquatic environments, and depending on the species, can be quite sensitive to the conditions of their surroundings, which is why they are considered valuable as bioindicators.
Little is known about ostracods in Iceland, to the point where apart from a few disjointed records, scientists are not even certain which species can be found in the local waters. The goal of this research is to start from the very basics, by identifying the ostracods that live in Icelandic lakes, and at a later time, apply this knowledge to gain a better understanding of the environmental dynamics in Icelandic freshwater systems.