Burke Museum Paleobotany Lecture: Dr. Peter Wilf "Fossil Rainforests of Patagonian Fire Lakes and their Australasian Legacy"

Start Date/Time: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 7:00 PM
Location: Burke Museum

Dr. Peter Wilf, Associate Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, has collected extensively from prolific fossil beds derived from ancient volcanic lakes in Patagonia, Argentina. The main sites date to 52- and 47-million years, a globally warm time interval, and they are located at the ancient biological crossroads of South America, Antarctica, and Australia, which all remained connected at the time.

The discoveries include hundreds of plant species along with insects, frogs, and fish. Strikingly, a majority of the plants' living relatives are large rainforest trees found not in South America but in Australasia, including the mountain rainforests of New Guinea and nearby tropical islands that are now more than 8,000 miles from the fossil sites.

In a lecture at the Burke Museum titled "Fossil Rainforests of Patagonian Fire Lakes and their Australasian Legacy," Dr. Wilf will discuss these findings and what they can tell us about ancient flora and climate change.

This event is free.