On Monday 30 July, Cyprus FreeThinkers is organising a talk on extinction rates through time, given by Marc Srour at the University of Cyprus. It is free to attend and aimed at the general public, so feel free to come and invite anyone (you can also print out the poster above for advertising). Below are the details. A Facebook events page can be found here.
Extinctions are a regular, commonplace part of life, and have always been happening since the origin of organisms. They play a fundamental role in evolution: paradoxically, extinctions often allow higher biodiversity to emerge. Extinctions can be local or they can be global; they can affect single populations, entire organismal groups, or even all life on Earth during mass extinctions. In this talk, the variation of extinction rates throughout the history of life on Earth will be examined, identifying the controlling factors behind the rate changes, and the consequences of these changes. Combined with an exploration of the methods used to measure extinction rates and intensity in the fossil record, this will then allow us to see whether human encroachment on the environment and atmosphere is leading to higher extinction rates, and the potential consequences of such an increase.