Title of Lecture: Ferns, sycamores, and palm trees: which plants survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction?
Lecture Description: Dinosaurs and other charismatic fauna capture our attention, but in order to know something about ancient ecosystems we need to understand more about the landscape around them. Which plant species were around during the Cretaceous Period, and which outlived the non-avian dinosaurs? By looking for evidence of ancient forests we can reconstruct past climate and imagine a more complete prehistoric world.
Bio: Paige Wilson is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington studying paleobotany. Paige's interest in plant fossils stems from her childhood exploring the forests and fields of New England. Since that time, she’s learned that looking at rocks can tell you a lot about what the ancient Earth used to look like. In particular, the plant fossils preserved in rocks can tell you how plants have evolved and adapted through time, more about plant-animal interactions, and even climatic variables like temperature and precipitation. Paige loves the combination of creativity and science which bring ancient landscapes to life.