Tag: Emma Dunne

Emma is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her research focuses on the patterns and drivers of terrestrial vertebrate (tetrapod) diversity and biogeography from the Carboniferous to Jurassic. She uses quantitative methods to examine the spatial and temporal biases underlying the tetrapod fossil record and explore how environmental changes affect global diversity. Prior to her PhD, Emma undertook a masters in taxonomy and biodiversity at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, and completed her undergraduate degree in natural sciences at Trinity College Dublin, where she specialised in zoology.

Contact Details:

Emma Dunne, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.

Patterns in Palaeontology: How do we measure biodiversity in the past?

Patterns in Palaeontology: How do we measure biodiversity in the past?

Patterns in Palaeontology
by Emma Dunne*1 Introduction: Life on Earth is incredibly diverse. More than 1.7 million species have already been described and estimates suggest that there could be as many as 9 million in total. But exactly how this rich biodiversity has developed over the last 542 million years since the Cambrian remains the subject of debate amongst palaeontologists. Did biodiversity increase steadily from one geological period to the next, or did it wax and wane without any overall direction? These questions are crucial in a modern context: today, we are flooded with urgent reports on the state of biodiversity worldwide, with many scientists stating that we are in the middle of a biodiversity crisis driven by human impact, leading to what is being called the sixth mass extinction. To understand and