I’ll be giving a talk on Extinction Rates Through Time (tentative subtitle: “The Tempo of the Imprecise“, see if you can figure out the allusions) on the 30th July (my birthday), 19:00, at the University of Cyprus (new campus), Building ΧΩΔ02, room B204. The poster, done by Lucia Protopapa after her despair at my pathetic uncreativity, has the details. Feel free to print it and advertise (B&W version for ink savers). Here’s a Facebook events page too.
The subject matter is admittedly technical, but the target audience is the lay public, so anyone can attend (it’d be superfluous for fellow palaeontologists though, unless you want a summary review).
Extinctions are a regular, commonplace part of life, and have always been happening since the origin of organisms. They play a fundamental role in evolution: paradoxically, extinctions often allow higher biodiversity to emerge. Extinctions can be local or they can be global; they can affect single populations, entire organismal groups, or even all life on Earth during mass extinctions. In this talk, the variation of extinction rates throughout the history of life on Earth will be examined, identifying the controlling factors behind the rate changes, and the consequences of these changes. Combined with an exploration of the methods used to measure extinction rates and intensity in the fossil record, this will then allow us to see whether human encroachment on the environment and atmosphere is leading to higher extinction rates, and the potential consequences of such an increase.
The blog stats show that visitors from Cyprus made up an enormous 1.5% of all visitors in the past week, so most of you aren’t interested in where and when this is. However, as always the slides will be put up here in a megapost, so if there is any issue you think is important or would like clarified, suggest it and I’ll try to squeeze it into the presentation if I can (you also get acknowledged at the end, unless you don’t want to be).