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Tag: Russell J. Garwood

Russell is a palaeontologist based at the University of Manchester, UK. Much of his work uses X-ray techniques to better understand early terrestrial animals and ecosystems – the subject of his PhD at Imperial College, London. His research interests also include abiogenesis and early evolution, computer modelling of evolution, and the palaeobiology of the arthropods. Russell is currently funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to study the origin and evolution of the insects. When not doing palaeontology, Russell spends a lot of his spare time watching films: everything and anything, but quite a lot of film noir, Sherlock Holmes in his various silver-screen guises, horror cinema, and Hitchcock. He has also done a lot of work as a music journalist over the years, covering a wide range of styles but specializing in the heavier end of the musical spectrum.

Russell’s website.

Contact details

Russell Garwood, School Of Materials / School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd., Manchester, M13 9PL, UK.

Life as a Palaeontologist: Palaeontology for dummies, Part 2

Life as a Palaeontologist
by Russell Garwood*1  Introduction In Palaeontology for Dummies, Part 1, we looked at modern palaeontology as a discipline, including the broad range of specialisms in the field. I hope it convinced you that palaeontology is an exciting and ever-expanding subject. Here, in the second part, we will focus on the birth and historical development of palaeontology, which has at times been highly controversial. We’ll first consider how humans and fossils interacted before science was formalized, then we will move on to the birth of palaeontology during the Enlightenment era in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We will cover the field’s expansion and rapid development during the nineteenth century, and finish with a few of the most notable findings trends in the past century. For sake

Life as a palaeontologist: Palaeontology for dummies, Part 1

Life as a Palaeontologist
by Russell Garwood *1 pa·lae·on·tol·o·gy / pa·le·on·tol·o·gy noun /ˌpælɪɒnˈtɒlədʒi/ or /ˌpeɪlɪɒnˈtɒlədʒi/ — The scientific study of prehistoric life. Introduction Palaeontology. If you’re reading this, it is likely that you’ve already encountered this particular corner of the scientific world, and know what it involves. If not, welcome: I think palaeontology is awesome and I hope that by the end of this article, you will too. Either way, it never hurts to define terms. As the above definition says, palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life. The discipline is actually rather wide ranging, with many sub-disciplines, but it is fair to say that most forms encompass the study of fossils or their traces. This study allows us to better understand extinct organisms’ biology, evolutionary

Patterns in Palaeontology: The first 3 billion years of evolution

Patterns in Palaeontology
by Russell Garwood *1 Introduction: Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s a good bet that you’re currently sitting in front of a computer, reading; I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’re breathing, too. In, and out. You probably weren’t even thinking about breathing until I mentioned it, but all the same, it’s keeping you alive. Oxygen from the air is being transported into the cells of your body, which are using it to create energy. So far, so good. But what you may not realize is that the cellular machinery performing this process so integral to our existence (Fig. 1) has roots buried deep in the geological past. It’s a story that begins before the origin of organized cells, in an ancient, alien world. But if we’re going back that far, we might as well go all the way back, to the very be