Paleonet: Ediacaran-Cambrian Transition topical session announcement: 2012 GSA Annual Meeting, Charlotte NC

jdschiff at jdschiff at
Sun Jul 8 22:06:00 UTC 2012

Dear colleagues -

If you are working on or around the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition, we  
would like to draw your attention to our topical session at the  
upcoming 2012 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting:

T138: Fossil Preservation, Biological Evolution, and Environmental  
Change at the Dawn of Animal Radiation: An Examination of  
Geobiological Events across the Ediacaran?Cambrian Transition
Sponsorships: GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division;  
Paleontological Society
Chairs: James D. Schiffbauer and Shuhai Xiao

While we are continuing to learn from both geological and molecular  
records across the Proterozoic?Phanerozoic transition, the organisms  
and paleoenvironments of the Ediacaran and Cambrian periods are yet  
not well understood. Current debates are centered on fossil  
affinities, the seemingly sudden appearance of phylogenetically  
recognizable forms, and major shifts in ocean oxidation and  
biologically important chemical cycles. With rapidly growing data and  
ideas, the Ediacaran and Cambrian have become one of the  
intellectually richest periods in Earth history. Thus, an  
interdisciplinary integration of the very diverse data would benefit  
researchers in numerous disciplinary fields, including paleontology,  
geochemistry, geobiology, geomicrobiology, stratigraphy, taphonomy,  
and evolutionary biology. Our goal with ?Fossil preservation,  
biological evolution, and environmental change at the dawn of animal  
radiation: An examination of geobiological events across the  
Ediacaran?Cambrian transition? is to unite, under one topical session,  
current research across these disciplinary fields and themes.  We hope  
that this session will be able to widen the scope of standard  
paleontologically-themed sessions on the Ediacaran?Cambrian transition  
by motivating participation from three core disciplines: molecular  
evolution and phylogeny, paleontology and taphonomy, and geochemistry  
and biogeochemistry. By incorporating diverse research avenues and  
techniques, we hope to further the understanding of interconnected and  
interrelated geobiological, biogeochemical, evolutionary, and  
paleoenvironmental factors affecting and influencing geological,  
biological, and environmental change across this important transition  
in the history of Earth and life.

The abstract submission deadline is Tuesday, August 14th  
(, and we hope to see you in  


Dr. James D. Schiffbauer
jdschiff at or jdschiffbauer at

Address until end-July:
Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory
and Department of Geosciences
Virginia Tech
1991 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg VA 24061

Address beginning in August:
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Missouri
101 Geology Building
Columbia MO 65211

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