David A.T. Harper

David is a palaeontologist, specialising in fossil brachiopods, the Cambrian Explosion, Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event and the End Ordovician Extinction. He is Emeritus Professor of Palaeontology in Earth Sciences, Durham University. He is a former President of the Palaeontological Association and the International Palaeontological Association, and is currently Chair of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. He has published over 10 books and monographs, including a couple of influential textbooks, as well as over 350 scientific articles and, together with Øyvind Hammer, the widely used software package PAST. His research has been recognized by foreign memberships of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Royal Swedish Physiographic Society, an Einstein Professorship in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with a D.Sc. from Queen’s University Belfast and a D.Sc. (honoris causa) from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Michael Benton

Michael Benton was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 for his fundamental contributions to understanding the history of life, especially mass extinctions and origins of major groups. He is fascinated by the transformation of palaeobiology from a speculative subject to testable science and led one of these discoveries – how to determine the colour of dinosaurs, rated as one of the top scientific discoveries of the 2010s. He has supervised more than 70 PhD students, and was founder of the Bristol MSc in Palaeobiology, which has welcomed 400 students since its foundation. He has written some 600 scientific papers and more than 50 books on a broad range of palaeontological topics, including textbooks, popular science, and kids’ books.

Zhen Xu

Zhen is a PhD student in China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and University of Leeds.
Zhen’s research is focused on the vegetation collapse and recovery pattern from the End Permian to Middle Triassic about 252 Million years (Ma) ago, quantitative estimation of the Palaeo-plant biomass and modelling the environmental impact of deforestation during this greatest mass extinction crisis of all time. Zhen’s work shows the 15Ma step-wise recovery of land ecosystem and the co-evolution process between plant and physical environment. The land plant crisis, causing a ~65% plant biomass drop after the Permian Triassic Mass Extinction, led to the super-greenhouse condition in Early Triassic for 5 myr, indicating thresholds exist in the climate-carbon system beyond which warming may be amplified substantially.

Cameron Penn-Clarke

Cameron Penn-Clarke is a scientist at the Council for Geoscience and an Honorary Research Associate in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is involved in sedimentological, palaeoenvironmental, stratigraphic and biogeographic research on the Devonian of South Africa with an interest in the recognition of high-latitude bioevents and crises in non-glacial settings.

Junxuan Fan

Junxuan Fan is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Geosciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, China. He is Secretary-General of the IUGS Big Science Program “Deep-time Digital Earth”. He leads the OneStratigraphy DDE programme and is Chair of Paleoecology Division of the Palaeontological Society of China and Vice-chair of the Division on Geochemical Stratigraphy and Quantitative Stratigraphy of the China Commission of Stratigraphy. His research interests include the Evolution of Life, Geological Big Data, Numerical Stratigraphy and High-performance Computing (HPC), and Ordovician and Silurian black shales and graptolites. He has published 150 scholarly contributions, including over 100 peer-reviewed research articles. His activities have attracted a number of awards. 

Melanie During

Melanie During is a PhD student at Uppsala University where she uses synchrotron tomography and Deep Learning as tools for investigating events in the life histories and evolution of vertebrates. She recently studied fish bones to uncover the season in which the meteorite struck that caused the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs

Eline Lorenzen

Eline is Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen. Her main research focus is molecular ecology of large mammals (megafauna), and is broadly interested in how climate change, environmental shifts, and human impact have affected the past and present abundance, distribution and evolution of megafauna species and communities. So far, Eline’s work has encompassed three overall areas: (i) continental-scale biogeography, (ii) past demographic inference using ancient DNA, and (iii) demographic inference and signals of natural selection using population genomics.

Research areas: Molecular ecology, biogeography, population genomics, demographic reconstruction, selection and adaptation, ancient DNA, palaeoecology, conservation genetics, megafauna

Daniela Schmidt

Daniela’s early work assessed the ecology of benthic foraminifers at the AWI Bremerhaven with the aim to improve our ability to assess past changes in ocean ecosystems. Her PhD focussed on the evolution of planktic foraminifers. She won a series of independent research fellowships from the Swiss Science foundation (SNF), the German Science foundation (DFG), NERC and the Royal Society. Daniela received a Wolfson Merit Award from the Royal Society in 2015. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and became a member of the Young Academy of Europe in 2016.
She built an international network of collaborators with different scientific foci. Her main aim is to combine assessment of past climate change and modern process understanding to better assess risk, impacts and potential for adaptation of ecosystems to climate change.
Daniela has contributed to several MCCIP reports. She was a lead author of the 5th IPCC report WGII, an Expert Group Member of EU SAPEA on the topic “Food from the Oceans” and is leading the IPCC WGII chapter on Europe for the 6th IPCC assessment.

This event has been organised by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). The ICS is the largest and oldest constituent scientific body in the IUGS. Its primary objective is to define precisely global units (systems, series and stages) of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart that, in turn, are the basis for the units (periods, epochs and age) of the International Geological Time Scale; thus setting global standards for the fundamental scale for expressing the history of the Earth. The work of the Commission is divided between seventeen subcommissions, each responsible for a specific period of geological time. Their work is overseen and co-ordinated by an executive of six officers.
Scroll to Top