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earth matters
science and insights for people who care about Earth, its resources and its environment

Evolution of Earth and Life

grey reef shark
January 31, 2017

Researchers at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station find that expanded marine protected areas are successful in limiting fishing and increasing reef shark populations.

grass flowers
January 20, 2017

A fatty molecule once thought to be unique to flowering plants has turned up in bacteria skimmed from the Adriatic Sea and may provide biotech insights.

Jon Payne holding whale vertebrae
December 19, 2016

Some of our favorite research stories from Stanford Earth scholars in 2016.

October 3, 2016
Stanford Earth professor Jon Payne puts modern extinction in context by comparing them with Earth's five previous mass extinctions.
Jon Payne holding whale vertebra
September 14, 2016

In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures, according to a Stanford-led report. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing.

Earth moon impact
August 12, 2016

A new model by Stanford Earth's Norm Sleep of the impact that created the moon might upend theories about Earth, too.

river in Tibet
July 25, 2016

Stanford Earth's Devon Orme shares her experience of doing field work in Tibet and Patagonia.

Cold drink next to a stack of books
June 27, 2016

It’s that time of year. Lie on the beach, jump on a plane to an exotic place, or just settle in on the chaise in the back yard — with a good book. Slow down, read, learn, enjoy.

SLAC at dusk
April 4, 2016

The relationship between SLAC and Stanford goes back 60 years, to a meeting where Stanford physicists helped plot construction of the linear accelerator. Since that time, collaborations between Stanford and SLAC scientists contributed to four Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry. 

Monterey map
March 31, 2016

Through the use of mathematical models, Stanford researchers have better defined the powerful processes that carved some of the largest canyons on Earth, deep under the oceans.

Green hills
February 16, 2016

 Analysis of ancient seabed rocks from disparate locations reveal that life did not rebound until anoxia had fully ebbed.