Biodiversity: snakes and ladders through geological time
Professor Crampton explores a story of evolution, extinction, competition, catastrophes and a planetary pulse.
Inaugural lecture - Professor James Crampton
One of history’s greatest biologists Charles Darwin wrote about “the war of nature”—and distinguished paleontologist David Raup stated that “virtually all species that have ever lived are extinct”.
So how do these bleak views of life on Earth connect with the fantastic biodiversity that we see today? And how has this biodiversity developed, and what controls the number of species alive at any time?
In his inaugural professorial lecture, Professor James Crampton explores these questions, with reference to the 600 million year-long fossil record of complex life—a story of evolution, extinction, competition, catastrophes and a planetary pulse.
This is Professor Crampton’s inaugural lecture as Professor of Geology at Victoria University of Wellington.
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