Biosphere Collapse and Recovery: Lessons from the Fossil Record
Earth is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis with extinctions occurring at an alarmingly high rate. However, this is not unique, as major mass extinctions have occurred through the evolutionary history of life on Earth. One avenue of research to address the present-day crisis is to study ancient extinctions and faunal recoveries to help understand their causes and to help reduce the severity of biodiversity crises. The causes of ancient mass extinctions and recoveries are explored using the fossil record of the Crinoidea (sea lilies and feather stars, phylum Echinodermata) marine organisms that dominated ocean floor communities during much of Earth history.