headshot images of all the researchers presenting on the course
course presenters

What can researchers tell us?

In each week, I will be interviewing palaeontologists and other scientists engaged in research about biodiversity - past and present. It is fascinating to see how new knowledge about the past impacts on our understanding of the present, and suggests what it may mean for the future. Below we’ve included a list of the guest scientists whom I have interviewed over the course. I am hugely grateful to these colleagues for sharing their knowledge with us.

Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan lead educator and paleobiologist, University of Cape Town
Professor Ed Rybicki microbiologist, University of Cape Town
Tetsuto Miyashita PhD candidate, University of Alberta
Dr Robert Gess paleontologist, Albany Museum/Rhodes University
Dr Roger Smith paleontologist & geologist, Iziko Museums
Dr Michael Day paleontologist, Wits University
Emeritus Professor John Anderson paleobotanist, Wits University
Emil Krupandan PhD candidate, University of Cape Town
Pippa Haarhoff paleontologist, Manager at West Coast Fossil Park
Associate Professor Becky Ackermann biological anthropologist, University of Cape Town
Emeritus Professor William Bond terrestrial ecologist, University of Cape Town
Professor Peter Ryan ornithologist, University of Cape Town
Associate Professor Muthama Muasya plant scientist, University of Cape Town
Professor Timm Hoffman plant ecologist, University of Cape Town
Dr Denham Parker fisheries scientist, University of Cape Town
Associate Professor Lindsey Gillson conservation biologist, University of Cape Town

Next week we start looking in detail at the mass extinction events. The earliest mass extinction, known as the End Ordovician (also called the ‘Ordovician-Silurian’) which happened 443 million years ago (mya); and the second mass extinction event, called the End Devonian around 373 mya. Although these two extinction events are the furthest back in time, they were highly significant events which drove the diversification of life, particularly in the marine environments.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Extinctions: Past and Present

University of Cape Town