The Cambrian Explosion and the evolutionary origin of animals – insights from the far north​​​​​​​

Professor Paul Smith
Event date
Event time
19:00 - 20:00
Oxford University Museum of Natural History - online live talk
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Prepare to journey back in time more than half a billion years…

Our understanding of the evolutionary origin of animals has changed dramatically in recent years.

Continuing our talk series, museum director Prof. Paul Smith will look at the beginning of animal life, with particular attention to the Sirius Passet fossil site in the north of Greenland. The exceptionally preserved fossils from this site have been key in the development of our understanding of the ‘Cambrian Explosion’. Paul will discuss evidence for the timing of the origin of animals, as well as the evolution of modern marine ecosystems and food webs.

​​​​​​​If you would like an introduction to the topic before this live talk, find out more about when animals first appeared in this short video here

Paul Smith is the Director of Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Professor of Natural History, and has over 30 years of experience on Arctic scientific expeditions. His research is focussed on the interactions of Earth systems and organisms, particularly in relation to the origin and early evolution of animals, and combines the study of sediments and palaeoenvironments with palaeobiology and geochemistry.

Our online lecture series features researchers presenting a range of topics in natural history. Beginners and experts are welcome, and while the talks may not be suitable for young children, they are appropriate for adults and young people. Our online lectures are presented live, and there are opportunities for attendees to interact and ask questions to our expert speakers.