Macro Evolution in the Deep Sea pt 6 of 7





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Published on Nov 24, 2009

Dolf Seilacher will visit the University of Cincinnati Geology Department
and present a lecture titled "Macro evolution in the Deep Sea" at 3:30 PM On
Friday November 13, 2009, in Room 201 in Braunstein Hall. The lecture is in
conjunction with UC's Darwin Year activities. The lecture will be followed
by a reception. Carl Brett has invited the Dry Dredgers to attend.

Professor Seilacher is originally from Swabia, southern Germany, and teaches
part of the year at Tübingen, Germany and part at Yale University.

"As a famous geologist and paleontologist, he is arguably the most
celebrated member of that profession in all of Europe and widely recognized
as one of the leading paleontologists in the world," Brett said. "A few
years back Dolf received the Crawford Prize from the King of Norway-which is
essentially the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in geology. He is also an
engaging speaker and a very interesting person."

The lecture, Brett said, "is bound to be entertaining, intriguing and

In awarding Seilacher with its 2006 Lapworth Medal, the UK-based
Palaeontological Association gave this summary:

"Prof. Dolf Seilacher is one of the world's most renowned invertebrate
palaeontologists, widely celebrated for his visionary and inspired
interpretations of the fossil record. He has made his most significant
contributions to four areas of palaeontology: trace fossils, morphodynamics,
the study of exceptionally preserved fossil deposits (Lagerstätten), and
Ediacaran assemblages. In the latter he is especially recognised for
proposing the innovative (and controversial) hypothesis of the Vendobionta.
In each of these fields he has stimulated research with fundamental
discoveries and iconoclastic interpretations. In 1992 he was awarded the
Crawford Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which is arguably
the closest an earth scientist can get to being a Nobel Laureate. Some of
his most cited work has been in the field of morphodynamics, recently
acknowledged at his 80th birthday symposium, organised in Yale. Dolf's major
contribution to our understanding of the evolution of morphology was in
emphasizing that function is an important but far from complete explanation
of organic form. He formalized this realization in 1970 as
Konstruktions-Morphologie (constructional morphology), recognizing the
influence of phylogeny and architecture in addition to adaptation. This
'triangular' approach was very influential at a time when there was little
interest in constraints on the evolution of form. In 1990, twenty years on,
Dolf expanded the triangle to include an environmental dimension, although
this can not be measured directly and is important mainly conceptually. He
has applied the methods of constructional morphology to a range of organisms
from vendobionts to barnacles, from clams to crinoids. Dolf illuminates his
results with the iconography of his line drawings and his unique explanatory
terminology. Dolf's influence on our science is evidenced by the
infiltration of his terminology into our everyday working vocabulary -
constructional morphology, Lagerstätten and vendobionts. There is no other
European palaeontologist more richly deserving of the career recognition
that the Lapworth Medal bestows."
Category: Science & Technology

Tags: Dolf Seilacher University Cincinnati Fossils Paleontologist Dry Dredgers Macro Evolution deep sea Darwin Year Creationism Intelligent design


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