Tag: Frances S. Dunn

Frankie is a PhD student at the University of Bristol, UK, who is studying growth and development in Ediacaran soft-bodied macro-organisms. She studied biology at undergraduate level and became fascinated by biological development, taking time out of her studies to work in an animal evolutionary-developmental biology laboratory for a little over a year. It was during this year that she was drawn to understanding the origins of animal development, and ultimately became interested in early animal evolution.

Contact Details:

Frances S. Dunn, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, UK.

Fossil Focus: The Ediacaran Biota

Fossil Focus: The Ediacaran Biota

Fossil Focus
by Frances S. Dunn*1 and Alex G. Liu2 Introduction: The Ediacaran period, from 635 million to 541 million years ago, was a time of immense geological and evolutionary change. It witnessed the transition out of an ice-house climate, the break-up of one supercontinent (Rodinia) and the assembly of another (Gondwana), a major meteorite impact (the Acraman event) and unprecedented shifts in global ocean chemistry that included a significant rise in oxygen concentrations (Fig. 1A). Rocks from the Ediacaran also record the appearance of a diverse (species-rich) group of large, morphologically complex lifeforms: the Ediacaran biota. These organisms were globally abundant from about 571 million to 541 million years ago. To our modern eyes, many Ediacaran fossils look strange and unfamiliar, and th...