Public talk on the evolution of earth as seen in comparative arid zones
The Namibia Scientific Society will be hosting a public talk by Prof Dr Dietmar Quandt and Dr Julia Bechteler, titled ‘CRC1211:Earth-Evolution at the dry limit’, on 25 October at 19:00.
The Society explained that the research within the CRC1211, a multi-disciplinary programme spanning geosciences, biology and physics focuses on mutual evolutionary relationships between Earth surface processes and biota. “It aims to compare the evolutionary trajectories of the Namib and Atacama, the two oldest deserts on Earth by isolating key finger prints of biological activity at the water limit of the habitable earth and to characterize the earth surface processes operating in the virtual absence of liquid water,” they added.
They said the CRC1211 defines thresholds for biological colonization, diversification and gene flow on population level in response to concurrent fluvial transformation of landscape, identify the tipping points of biotically and abiotically-controlled earth-surface systems, and establish detailed long-term terrestrial climatic records of the oldest and most arid zones on earth.
“Chronometric and spatial information on the colonization and radiation of biota will be related to the landscape evolution and their common driver, water availability and climate, therefore we aim to provide an introduction to the CRC1211, with a focus on the B-cluster, i.e. the biology cluster,” the Society emphasised.
They further said that its main objective is to analyse the biogeographic history of selected taxa/communities, including speciation, population dynamics as well as past and recent colonization histories.
“Information on the more recent history of colonization and adaptation will to some extent allow to predict the potential colonization of the transformation habitats caused by the global warming in the near future, a theme that the currently granted FRAMe (SASSCAL) project on melons picks up and thus allows further collaborative research in Namibia,” they concluded.