GEMS of Hull: Geology, Environment, Marine Science and Us Series 2: ‘Mass extinctions: past, present and future’
Speakers: David Bond, Professor of Palaeoenvironments, School of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering and Jenny James, PhD student in the Energy and Environment Institute.
Mass extinctions have wiped out >75% of life on Earth at least five times through geological history. Many fear that human activities are driving a sixth catastrophe. Although mechanisms differ between deep-time extinction scenarios and the present, these commonly feature rapid environmental change. Biodiversity loss and the rate of recovery following an extinction event depends on the severity of change – how nasty it got, and how long it took to get better. This session features a talk on mass extinctions from the ancient to the present day, followed by a look at how the humble rag worm, a common resident of the Humber Estuary, might hold clues to our understanding of these. We experimentally investigate how environmental stress might drive extinctions and the slow recovery of diversity. We hope to learn what the future landscape of the Humber might look like, as well as use our experiments to better understand crises of the past.
David's research looks at the record of environmental change during Earth’s greatest mass extinctions. His current NERC-funded research investigates three crises that occurred between the Middle Permian and end Triassic - an interval of extremes of climate, extinction and evolution - in the "Boreal Realm" of northern high latitudes. His focus is the role of major (large igneous province) volcanism in extinction scenarios, and the effects of warming, oceanic oxygen depletion and acidification on marine ecosystems. David is a field geologist who has worked in 30 countries and has published on extinctions from 445 million years ago to the present.
Cost: Free Admission – All welcome but booking is required in order to guarantee a place and to enable us to ensure we have an adequately sized room booked for the session. For more information and to book online, please click here.