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UCLA to host free symposium April 5 on extinctions in Earth's history

March 28, 2002

UCLA will host a symposium on "Extinctions in the History of Life," bringing together internationally renowned scientists, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 5, in UCLA's Schoenberg Auditorium (near the corner of Hilgard and Westholme Avenues).

Topics will include "Extinctions in Life's Earliest History," "The Evolutionary Role of Mass Extinctions," "Causes of Mass Extinctions," "Extinction in the Fossil Record" and a concluding panel discussion The program is free to the public; parking on campus costs $6.

Participating scientists at the symposium, sponsored by UCLA's IGPP Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life will be:
  • Paul D. Taylor, head of the Invertebrates and Plants Division, The Natural History Museum, London, and a co-organizer of the symposium. Taylor's research centers on the paleobiology of Bryozoa, a geologically important group of chiefly marine colonial invertebrate animals.

  • J. William Schopf, director, UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life. A co-organizer of the symposium, Schopf is one of the world's leading experts on the earliest life on Earth. He has edited eight volumes including two prize-winning monographs on early evolution, and is the author of "Cradle of Life."

  • Scott Wing, research curator, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. A biologist, Wing is primarily interested in the effects of climate change and global warming on the world's biota, especially on vegetation, as shown in fossils.

  • David Bottjer, Department of Earth Sciences, USC. Bottjer is also a research associate at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the evolution of invertebrate animals in the Phanerozoic geologic record.

  • Paul Wignall, School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, England. An expert on the origin of marine petroleum, Wignall has also focused his research on the causes of mass extinctions -- particularly the major event 250 million years ago that was the most severe mass extinction known in the geological record.

  • David Jablonski, Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago. Jablonski holds a joint appointment with the Field Museum of Natural History. His research concentrates on large-scale patterns in the evolutionary history of marine invertebrate animals.

  • David Jacobs, Department of Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution, UCLA. Jacobs' research focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of the process of evolution. Among other subjects, he has studied geological issues related to climate and sea level change, fossils, and patterns of evolution in marine animals.


Previous sessions in the annual series offered by the UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life have addressed such topics as evolution in the computer age, the endangered Earth, the origin and evolution of humans, the origin and evolution of intelligence, major events in the history of life, the origin and evolution of the universe, and human population and the environmental crisis -- each of which has resulted in a book.
-end-


University of California - Los Angeles

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