evolution Archives - Page 2 of 4 - State of the Planet

Amid a Fossil Bonanza, Drilling Deep into Pre-Dinosaurian Rocks

On a high ridge in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park, paleontologist Paul Olsen sits on the fallen trunk of a 215-million-year-old tree, now turned to stone. The tree once loomed 70 or 80 feet above a riverine landscape teeming with fish, turtles, giant crocodilians and tiny, early species of dinosaurs.

by |April 29, 2014

Photo Essay: Unearthing the Lost World Below a Petrified Forest

In Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park, researchers are scouring the fossil-rich surface and drilling deep into ancient rocks to learn what happened during the late Triassic, some 201 million to 235 million years ago.

by |April 29, 2014

The Isthmus of Panama: Out of the Deep Earth

The creation of the narrow isthmus that joins North and South America changed not just the world map, but the circulation of oceans, the course of biologic evolution, and probably global climate. Scientists try to decipher the story behind its formation.

by |March 31, 2014

Photo Essay: Exploring the Rocks That Join the Americas

The formation of the slender land bridge that joins South America and North America was a pivotal event in earth’s history. At its narrowest along the isthmus of Panama, it changed not just the world map, but the circulation of oceans, the course of biologic evolution, and global climate. Cornelia Class, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and Esteban Gazel, a Lamont adjunct researcher now based at Virginia Tech, are looking into a key factor: the Galápagos Plume.

by |March 31, 2014
The African coelacanth. Photo: Laurent Ballesta/andromede Oceanologie (Science)

Latimeria Chalumnae

One in a series of poems based on science news, written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

by |January 30, 2014

Splicing the Role of Genetics in Conservation

Genetics hold the secret to understanding evolutionary processes. They also hold the secret to how ecological and climatic factors influence the course of evolution. In fact, recent research—ranging in topics from butterfly speciation to the genetic diversity of immune systems in giant pandas—has found that genetics play a vital role in the outcome of conservation efforts, and thus the fate of entire species.

by |December 27, 2013

Spring Courses in Conservation, Ecology & Policy

The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University provides executive training in environmental sustainability through courses in science, economics and policy. We invite you to join our leading experts and practitioners, strengthen your understanding of human-ecosystem interactions, and become an effective environmental leader and decision-maker.

by |March 13, 2013

Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey

In a gigantic and remote rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of Old World monkey known as the “Lesula.”

by |September 21, 2012

The Evolution of The Moral Brain

Drawing upon the narrative of his new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Dr. Jonathan Haidt gave a lecture entitled “The Rationalist Delusion in Moral Psychology,” on April 24, 2012 to members of Teachers College at Columbia University. Dr. Haidt elaborates on his own research in moral and cultural psychology to frame discussions on moral instincts—the rapid, highly emotional moral judgments we make—and their influence on contemporary politics and perspectives on natural selection.

by |May 23, 2012

Fossil Teeth, Traces of Climate & Evolution

From fossil teeth to carbon traces of plants in the soil, scientists are studying how changes in climate may have influenced early human evolution in Africa. Researchers from around the world gathered for a symposium held recently at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Watch the videos.

by |April 27, 2012