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Join us as we discover how our planet and the life it supports has changed over millennia. Using cutting edge technologies we will take you on a journey back through time, following the history of our planet by studying both its geology and its archaeology. Such evidence can show us how changes in the environment have driven evolution and how mankind has changed life on Earth through time.
Our Ancient Seas
Virginia Harvey (PhD student)
Humans have been changing our oceans for centuries. We are overfishing them, polluting them and heating them up. However, it is hard to know how much damage we have done if we don't know what our planet looked like before our impacts. Here, we look at how ancient marine turtle bones, and the proteins still preserved within them, can help unlock the secrets of our past oceans to help us better protect them today.
Climate change, Charles Darwin, and H.G. Wells
Professor Roy Wogelius (Professor of Geochemistry)
We tend to think of climate change as a modern, human induced problem. However geologists have been uncovering evidence concerning drastic changes in the Earth surface environment stretching back to the very oldest rocks on Earth. Knowledge of such changes in environment helped to establish Darwin's theory of evolution because such changes provide easily understood evolutionary pressures. This talk will discuss the important changes in Earth's surface environment over geological time, how these changes have shaped life in the past, and what we might expect in the future.
Feeding the Future - how will we cope with growing populations in a world of changing climates
Dr Giles Johnson (Senior Lecturer - University of Manchester)
Humans have been farming for the last 10 millenia, but the way we farm has been transformed in only the last half century. A series of innovations, led by the crop scientist Norman Borlaug, changed agriculture in the second half of the 20th century, averting a global famine. As we move into the 21st century, however, we face what has been described as a "perfect storm" of global population growth and climate change. We must grow more food to feed more mouths at a time when growing that food is becoming harder. This talk will discuss the ideas scientists are developing to meet this challenge.