From Svalbard trilobites to plate tectonics: A lifetime in palaeontology

Tellusdagen 2018: Lecture by Richard Fortey, Natural History Museum, London.

Fifty years ago a Cambridge University Expedition to Ny Friesland on Svalbard led to the discovery of Ordovician limestones of almost unparalleled faunal richness. The trilobites in the rocks formed a distinct series of ‘communities’ corresponding to different water depth along the edge of an Ordovician continent. Research on these various environments has demonstrated how faunal evidence can be used to reconstruct the position of former continents and the history of life.

Richard Fortey has taken part in these geological and palaeontological advances, and since the 1990s he has also been an active science communicator. He is the author of several books, including Life: An unauthorized biography and The Earth: an intimate history, and has been a television presenter appearing on BBC Four presenting natural history programs. The department of Geosciences is proud to have him visit us at the Science Library on Tellusdagen.

The event is also streamed live


Tellusdagen is an annual event hosted by the Department of Geosciences. With Tellusdagen we wish to focus on the geosciences and on the different parts of our dynamic planet Earth. Each year we will introduce our audience to an internationally acknowledged researcher within one of the wide ranging topics of Earth sciences. The lectures will be tailored for the general public and are open for everyone.

Published Oct. 23, 2018 8:56 AM - Last modified Nov. 7, 2018 10:51 AM