Life

Science Cafes return to Fairfield library

The next series of Science Cafes are starting up the for the school year, with he first one set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Fairfield Public Library.

Join Dr. Christopher Brochu, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Iowa, for a Science Café titled, “The Myth of the Living Fossil.”

Brochu will explain how the crocodylians’ evolution bears on fields as diverse as epidemiology and forensics!

Most of Brochu’s laboratory’s work explores the phylogeny and historical biogeography of crocodyliforms –-- alligators, crocodiles, gharials, and their close relatives. Their low present diversity (23 recognized species) and rich fossil record gives him a rare opportunity to integrate the earth and life sciences. He can synthesize molecular data from all living species with the deep-time perspective directly obtainable only from fossils. Crocodyliform fossils are known from every continent and are ubiquitous in continental and nearshore deposits from the time they first appear in the Jurassic to the present. He can look at biotic responses to climate and tectonic change over a variety of time scales.