University of Cambridge > > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > A window on deep geological time: exceptional fossils studied using new methods

A window on deep geological time: exceptional fossils studied using new methods

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Roger Benson.

A new area of research using state-of-the-art geochemical and physics techniques to study the chemical residue of fossilized organisms will be the focus of this seminar. This effort has developed in order to answer fundamental questions about the chemistry of ancient life and also about the chemical processes which allow such rare, exceptional, preservation to occur. These processes enable us to study such iconic fossils as Archaeopteryx, often referred to as the first bird, and also teach us about reaction pathways of slow geochemical reactions. This area of research involves multi-disciplinary and multi-technique collaboration. Here, the geochemical perspective will be presented, explaining the basic chemistry and discussing the combination of techniques used including non-destructive synchrotron and infra-red methods along with more traditional methods which involve destructive sampling. Results from recent work will then be presented, including work on early bird and bird-like species, dinosaurs and reptiles, and plant material.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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