Meet the Expert, Paleontology: Dr. Tony Rathburn VIRTUAL EVENT
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About the Event
Dr. Tony Rathburn is a paleontologist who conducts research on tiny fossils from the seafloor. Even though large fossils get most of the attention, it is the microfossils that provide the vast majority of information about Earth's past. These microfossils, called “foraminifera” tell us about how the environment and climate has changed through time. Foraminifera have been around for at least 500 million years (long before dinosaurs appeared on Earth), and these single-celled creatures are still very abundant in all depths of modern oceans.
Dr. Rathburn is currently Professor of Geology and Chair of the Geological Sciences Department at California State University, Bakersfield and a Research Associate Scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Rathburn received his Bachelor’s Degree (Zoology) and his Master of Science Degree (Geology) at the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. in Geology from Duke University. He conducted post-doctoral research at The Australian National University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Dr. Rathburn has participated on over 45 marine research expeditions, and has conducted research in a variety of seafloor environments, including those off Alaska, Antarctica, Australia, Borneo, California, Chile, Costa Rica, Iceland, Italy and Peru. Some of these expeditions included the use of manned submersibles that carry scientists to the seafloor (up to 4500 m) to sample and explore deep-sea environments. Dr. Rathburn’s research focuses on the ecology, biogeochemistry and paleontology of deep-sea environments, including methane seeps and oxygen-poor, organic rich habitats. Graduate and undergraduate students actively participate in all of Dr. Rathburn’s research projects.
In addition to his research on marine fossils, Dr. Rathburn has taught a number of courses that discuss fossils, including those entitled “Paleontology and Paleoecology,” Early Life on Earth,” “Historical Geology,” “Dinosaurs, Volcanoes and Earthquakes,” Paleoecology,” and “Introduction to Paleontology and Geobiology.”
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