2013 Palaeontology Road trip

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In April 2013, a group of 18 students with an enthusiasm for foraminifera, fossils and fairly long drives set out on a 3000 km road trip across Victoria and South Australia. Led by Prof. Patrick de Deckker and Dr. Penny King, we journeyed to various sites of geological significance, examining fossils in both marine and lake sediments along with those found in limestone cave systems. We looked at fossils in mud and rocks, but by doing so, we were transported on a journey through time. We witnessed the first experiments of complex life as they took place in the Ediacaran oceans and 500 million years later we walked among the megafauna as they ultimately lost their battle with the changing climate and environment of the Quaternary. We froze in the Coorong as we watched the sea level drop during the last glacial maximum 20000 years ago, and were thawed as we watched the eruption of the Mt Gambier volcano 14000 years later. Our physical journey took us across three states and one territory, but it was so much more than just a bus ride. The wisdom of our fearless leaders, combined with field and lab observations taught us invaluable lessons about the history of life.

Maxine Kerr

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