Palaeontology & Historical Geology

Palaeozoology II

Prof. Dr. Simon Darroch
Head of Palaeozoology II

I am a geobiologist and paleontologist, with a research program focused on understanding major changes in the complexity of Earth-Life systems. Our group works on a large number of things! However, at the moment we are focused on understanding the evolution, ecology, and disappearance of some of the oldest complex eukaryotes (the ‘Ediacara biota’), the causes and consequences of mass extinction events, and the biogeographic responses of taxa to major intervals of global change. We are also currently part of a large group funded by NSF hoping to understand the role of ‘ecoystem engineers’ – organisms that physcially modify their environment and alter reosurce flows – in controling processes of community assembly, and what this might tell us about the impact of human activities on the global biosphere. Our work is by necessity interdisciplinary, and combines aspects of biology, ecology, and geology. Members of our lab perform fieldwork all over the world, most recently in South Africa, Namibia, Canada, and the Bahamas.

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