Victoria at the Club: The red queen, the pull of Mars & the pulse of life

Victoria at the Club with Professor James Crampton

To the best of our knowledge, life is unique to Earth. We still don’t understand what controls the number of species that coexist on this little planet. There is, however, clearly a rather complex interplay between environmental factors on the one hand (e.g. climate) and species-to-species biological interactions on the other (e.g. predation), which controls the diversity of life. Fortunately, the fossil record documents the history of this interplay & reveals a whole suite of natural experiments in environmental upheavals & transitions. We can study these natural experiments in biodiversity change to help us understand the wonderful, squishy, wriggly, smelly, noisy, richness of life on our world and to help us model & mitigate future ecological change.

Professor Crampton is a palaeontologist who works at Victoria University of Wellington & GNS Science in Lower Hutt. His research spans a broad range of fields, from dinosaur hunting in Te Urewera, to evolution of marine critters, to the development of the geological timescale for exploration. His fieldwork has taken him from equatorial deserts to Antarctic islands. The thrill of being the first to see a freshly exposed, millions-of-years old fossil never goes away.


Venue: Wellesley Room, Fourth Floor
Time: 5.30pm for 6pm start
Cost: $12 for members / $15 for non-members for presentation and arrival drink, $50 for presentation, arrival drink and dinner
Dress: Business Casual


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