Evolving Earth and Environment

The Research Activity “Evolving Earth and Environment” reconstructs how the earth’s evolutionary history is reflected in geological and mineralogical processes in the earth’s crust, thereby reinforcing the geobiodiversity approach of the entire Senckenberg research. Different topics from the geosciences, climate and biodiversity research are integrated here, enabling us to understand how the evolution of organisms and their ecosystem structure is linked to geological processes on various spatial-temporal scales. Special focus is given to evolutionary key events (e.g., mass extinctions, followed by recovery phases). From these, we can derive what past processes played a role in mass extinction events, and what we can learn from this in regard to the current, Anthropocene mass extinction. The work of this RA greatly benefits from the outstanding fossils of the Messel Pit, which are renowned for their globally unique level of preservation.