1. Astrobiology Sessions at GSA 2017

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    The 2017 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting takes place on October 22-25 in Seattle, Washington. Below is a highlight of sessions co-coordinated by scientists with the Alternative Earths and Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) teams of the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

    GSA is still accepting abstracts for sessions. The deadline to submit an abstract is August 1, 2017.

    T58. Oxygen and Ecosystems from the Proterozoic to the Paleozoic
    Noah J. Planavsky, Devon B. Cole, Christopher T. Reinhard
    Paleontological Research Institution; Paleontological Society; GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division
    Recently there have been sustained efforts to develop a more comprehensive understanding of coupled oxygen availability and environmental conditions with biotic evolution and ecosystem development from the Proterozoic to the early Paleozoic. In this session we will explore this critical interval in Earth’s evolution, conditions before and after, transitions between oxygenation states on global, regional, and local scales, and the advances and debates surrounding the early radiation of complex life through to the great Ordovician biodiversification event. We encourage presentations that bridge novel constraints on biospheric and marine oxygenation and nutrient models with parallel records biotic innovation and ecosystem structure. We especially welcome new contributions that: (1) constrain marine redox conditions spatially and temporally in the middle to late Proterozoic and relevant periods of the Phanerozoic by using both organic and inorganic approaches; (2) new empirical records of ecosystem structure and shifts; (3) modeling work that links environmental factors to evolutionary drivers; and (4) provide new insights into factors driving climatic, environmental and ecological shifts during this broad interval of geological time.

    T254. The Co-Evolution of Life and Its Environment during the Precambrian: The “Boring Billion” and Mid-Proterozoic Emergence of Complex Life
    Roger Buick, Matthew Koehler, Charles Diamond
    Paleontological Society; GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division
    This session explores the middle chapter of Earth’s history, which was characterized by an apparently prolonged period of biogeochemical stasis. Contributions that consider Proterozoic redox conditions, early eukaryotic evolution, long-term climatic regulation, and biogeochemical cycling are encouraged.

    T255. The Co-Evolution of Life and Its Environment during the Precambrian: The Late Proterozoic Rise of Animals; Climate, Tectonic, and Environmental Dynamics, and the Transition into the Early Paleozoic
    Michael Kipp, J. Alex Zumberge, Timothy W. Lyons
    Paleontological Society; GSA Sedimentary Geology Division
    This session explores the dynamic transitions of the Neoproterozoic, and particularly welcomes contributions that assess marine redox heterogeneity, cause-effect relationships between tectonic, climatic and biological evolution, and the chronology of these critical events.

    T256. The Co-Evolution of Life and Its Environment during the Precambrian: The Rise of Oxygenic Photosynthesis and the Great Oxidation Event
    Joshua Krissansen-Totton, Stephanie Olson, David C Catling
    GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division
    This session explores the Archean and the Paleoproterozoic, with a particular focus on the Great Oxidation Event, the antiquity of oxygenic photosynthesis, models of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, and novel constraints on environmental conditions.

    For more information on GSA 2017, visit http://community.geosociety.org/gsa2017/home

    Source: [Geological Society of America]