The Wells College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will welcome Dr. Shuhai Xiao to campus for a residency and a public lecure titled "On the Eve of the Cambrian Revolution." This event will take place at 4:45 p.m. Monday, October 24, in the Hostetter Lecture Room (209) of Stratton Hall. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.
Dr. Xiao will share his work on the revolutionary impact that the Cambrian Explosion (541-520 million years ago) had on the Earth-life system, including the biosphere ecology, global carbon cycle, and global environments. He will highlight new insights from pre-Cambrian fossil discoveries, the challenges in decoding these ancient organisms, as well as the opportunities they offer to investigate the evolutionary intermediates between living animals and their closest living sisters.
As a Professor of Geobiology at Virginia Tech, Dr. Shuhai Xiao focuses his research on the interactions between life and environments at critical transitions during early Earth history, using paleobiological, sedimentological, and geochemical data. He is particularly interested in the environmental context and geobiological impact of the diversification of eukaryotes, multicellular organisms, and animals in the Neoproterozoic Era (1000-540 million years ago). His current research involves fieldwork in China, India, Russia, Australia, Namibia and Canada.
Dr. Xiao is a recipient of the Charles Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in Research in 2010, and the 2014 Geological Society of America's Outstanding Contributions in Geobiosciences Award. He was chosen as the 2014 Sir Albert Charles Seward Memorial Lecturer at Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobotany in India. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Paleontological Society and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.