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The MOST, Syracuse NY (map)
“Life and Lava: How Earth’s Largest Volcanic Eruptions Cause Species Extinctions”
Saturday, January 20, 2018
9:30A.M. - 11:00A.M.

Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), Armory Square

Syracuse, New York

Speaker: James D. Muirhead, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Talk Overview: Planet Earth is typically hospitable, teeming with life in almost every corner and crevice. However, since the origin of life there have been a handful of occasions when things have turned deadly, and the majority of animal species suddenly vanished from the geological record. These events are called mass extinctions. Dr. James Muirhead explores the causes of these extinctions, showing that many coincide with unthinkable events involving the underground movement of hot molten rock, release of climate-warming gases, and massive outpourings of lava that can cover entire countries and continents.

Biography: James Muirhead is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. He earned his B.S. and M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. As a Fulbright scholar, he performed his doctoral research at a number of institutes in the western US, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in 2016. Since then, he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher here in Syracuse. Dr. Muirhead’s research investigates the interactions
between volcanoes and earthquakes, and explores the means by which volcanic events effect climate. These endeavors have led to many adventures across the world, in not only the United States and New Zealand, but locations such as Kenya, Antarctica and Iceland. James enjoys travelling and hiking. While his choices of travel locations and field research may be questionable to many, he prefers scrambling over active volcanoes and rocky deserts, and chilling out in Arctic climates.

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