The research in this reference concentrates on what is directly gleaned from the existing rock record to understand how our planet formed and evolved during the planetary accretion phase, formation of the first crust, the changing dynamics of the mantle and style of tectonics, life’s foothold and early development, and mineral deposits. It is an ideal resource for academics, students and the general public alike.
Prof. van Kranendonk was born and trained in Canada, receiving his PhD in 1992 and then undertaking a post-doc position at the Geological Survey of Canada from 1992-1994. In 1994, he moved to Australia as an ARC post-doctoral fellow at the University of Newcastle, where he commenced research on the Pilbara. He then joined the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 1997, where he worked for 15 years until the start of 2012, when he accepted a position as Professor of Geology at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, where he is the Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Prof. van Kranendonk is a leading world expert on the early Earth. His main interests are Archean tectonics and the geological setting of early life on Earth. He has appeared on numerous television and radio documentaries on early Earth, and has been involved in educational outreach programs for school children and the general public.
Professor Bennett is a geochemist at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She received her PhD in 1989 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and then moved to Australia to begin a post-doctoral fellow position at RSES the same year. As part of the “First Billion Years project she began collaborative investigations of the oldest rocks in Western Australia and southwest Greenland. In 2000 she became the first tenured female faculty member and is currently Associate Director and Head of the Isotope Geochemistry Group at RSES. Prof. Bennett is an international expert on the geochemistry of the early Earth, particularly as applied to understanding the formation and chemical evolution of the crust and mantle and the origin and development of the oldest continents.
Dr. Hoffmann was born in Germany. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from University of Münster (Germany) and his Ph.D. degree in 2011 from University of Bonn (Germany). After post-doc positions at the Universities of Bonn, Cologne and Berlin, he accepted a lecturer and lab manager position at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). He was mapping geologist for the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) during several field seasons in the Archean of western Greenland between 2005 and 2007. He carried out field work in the eastern Kaapvaal craton and in the Isua region of Greenland. He is an expert in Archean geology, where his specialty is in combining field geology and advanced analytical techniques in the field of isotope and trace element geochemistry, petrology and geochemical modelling to place constraints on the evolution of the early continental crust and the Archaean mantle.
Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.
Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.
Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.