Molecular fossils are organic molecules derived from organisms that can be preserved for thousands to hundreds of millions of years in sediments and rocks. Compared to DNA or protein, fats (lipids) have the best chance of being preserved. Lipids also preserve information about the organism that produced them and the environment in which they were produced. In this talk, we will hunt for molecular fossils in the geologic record and reconstruct what life and environments may have looked like at important intervals in Earth's past.
Dr. Shane O'Reilly was born in Limerick, Ireland. He holds a BSc in Environmental Chemistry and in 2013 earned his PhD in Organic Geochemistry from Dublin City University. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Geobiology at MIT. He is funded by the EU Marie Curie Actions Program and the Irish Research Council. If he is not out in the field sampling, doing science outreach, or running, you can probably find him scratching his head in the vicinity of a mass spectrometer.
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Directions to Le Laboratoire Cambridge, 650 East Kendall Street
Public Transit: Red line to Kendall Square, walk straight down 3rd Street, turn right onto Athenaeum Street, and left onto East Kendall
Parking: There is a parking deck - the 650 East Kendall Street Garage - accessible by Linskey Way. If you purchase food or drink from Le Lab, your parking ticket can be validated for discounted rates.