The Wandering Path of A Rock Whisperer - How to Read Earth History from the Rocks
We have been plotting the history of life around the world and climate over more than 1 billion years. Tonight we will zero in on a time when the Earth's first animals came into the picture - at a time when the planet was in the grips of a massive glaciation, Snowball Earth - which is likely better named Slushball Earth.
A little about Patricia Rich
From the time she was a little girl, Patricia was interested in the world around her - from rocks to grasshoppers - growing up on a small cotton and fruit farm in California. This led finally to her having the opportunity to follow this interest through to a PhD, due to free education at that time in the USA. No-one in her family at that time had ever gone to University, much less gaining a PhD.

Over her career both in the US and Australia she has followed a winding path, not in a straight line. Her interests have always been about the path taken by life, at first examining the history of birds that once lived in Australia over the past 40 million years but eventually expanding into a multidisciplinary series of projects that had taken her back into the Precambrian more than 600 million years and to such remote parts of the planet in Siberia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Africa - as well as right here at home in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.

She knows how to read rocks and with her colleagues from around the world has plotted the history of life and climate over more than 1 billion years.

Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich is interested in biotic, environmental/climatic change, with emphasis on the late Neoproterozoic (600-540 mybp) and late Mesozoic and Cainozoic (150 mybp to present day). Her research and that of her students investigates the appearance of multicelled organisms and hard skeletons/shells in the late Neoproterozoic with field work in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Argentina, Namibia and the White Sea of Russia. She leads the UNESCO International Geosciences Program IGCP 587 with 120 participants from 20 countries and has organized many exhibitions that travel globally including The Rise of Animals, Wildlife of Gondwana, The Artist and the Scientists, Dinosaurs of Darkness), bringing research science to the public, visited by millions of people around the world. She holds an Order of Australia for her research work and science communication efforts, especially with primary and pre-primary age groups and is the Director of PrimeSCI! based at Swinburne (Wantirna) – a group that brings the public and youth especially together with research scientists around the world.

Presenter: Prof. Patricia Rich, Swinburne University, Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology

Date: Friday 7 July 2017
Time: 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Swinburne University, AMDC building, AMDC301 (Enter from Burwood road or John Street)

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