Neil Davies on the Greening of the Continents
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Life only emerged from water in the Ordovician.  By that time, life had been thriving in oceans and lakes for billions of years.  What did the colonization of the land look like, and how did it reshape the Earth’s surface?  Neil Davies describes how we can decipher the stratigraphic sedimentary record to address these questions.  Perhaps surprisingly, it’s easier to recognize small and fleeting events than to recognize large-scale features such as mountains, valleys, and floodplains.  He also describes his remarkable 2018 discovery of the largest known arthropod in Earth history — a 2.6-meter-long millipede. Neil Davies is a Lecturer in Sedimentary Geology at the University of Cambridge.  He studies the interconnections and feedback loops between life and sedimentation.  His research aims to understand how such interactions manifest themselves in the rock record.  He does this by combining analyses of sedimentary structures and textures, stratigraphy, and trace fossils.
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