A sweeping analysis of marine fossils from most of the past half-billion years shows the usual rules of body size evolution change during mass extinctions and their recoveries. The discovery is an early step toward predicting how evolution will play out on the other side of the current extinction crisis.
A collection of research and insights from Stanford experts who are deciphering the mysteries and mechanisms of extinction and survival in Earth’s deep past and painting an increasingly detailed picture of life now at the brink.
Upending an evolutionary theory proposed in the 1950s, scientists have found that the groups most resistant to extinction also contain the greatest ecological diversity – their members perform a larger number of different functions in ecosystems.
Kimberly Lau, PhD '16, has been named the 2019 Doris M. Curtis Outstanding Woman in Science by the Geological Society of America. Lau's award is based on the impact of her dissertation research, which she conducted as an advisee of Jon Payne and Kate Maher.
A study co-authored by Jon Payne and Erik Sperling suggests the worst extinction in Earth’s history offers chilling predictions for the planet’s future – and for humanity’s efforts to keep climate doom at bay.
A study co-authored by Erik Sperling and Jon Payne shows rapid global warming caused the largest extinction event in the Earth’s history, which wiped out the vast majority of marine and terrestrial animals on the planet.
Scientists have debated until now what made Earth's oceans so inhospitable to life that some 96 percent of marine species died off at the end of the Permian period. New research shows the "Great Dying" was caused by global warming that left ocean animals unable to breathe.
Examining body sizes of ancient and modern aquatic mammals and their terrestrial counterparts reveals that life in water restricts mammals to a narrow range of body sizes – big enough to stay warm, but not so big they can’t find enough food.