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Earth Surface Dynamics (ESD) online seminar "Life and the long-term stability of the biosphere" by Lee Kump, Dean and Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University


Date: Wednesday, 17th November 2021 at 14:30 pm

Venue: Online via Zoom. Details below. 

Host: Dr. Cécile L. Blanchet & Dr. Patrick Frings (GFZ)

Dear Colleagues,

After an extended break, we're pleased to announce that the Earth Surface Dynamics seminar series is returning soon, on Wednesday 17th November at 14:30.

The Earth Surface Dynamics seminar series at the GFZ aims to bring together the broad range of researchers on Telegrafenberg and around looking at Earth surface processes, e.g., hydrology, earth surface geochemistry, geobiology, geochemical/carbon cycling, geomorphology, etc. roughly once a month. The goal for these talks is to be broad and accessible and deal with big, global topics, so that non-experts and specialists alike can find them enjoyable and enlightening.

This seminar will be given by Lee Kump, Dean and Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University.

Title: Life and the long-term stability of the biosphere

Abstract: In the traditional view, the physical environment on Earth has evolved through time; those organisms that could adapt to a changing environment survived while those that could not went extinct. The more contemporary view recognizes the global significance of life as a geologic force (to quote Peter Westbroek) and considers Earth’s evolution as a tightly coupled consequence of biotic and environmental change. This talk will explore the role that life has played in the establishment and persistence of atmospheric oxygen levels sufficient to support aerobic life but insufficient to cause global conflagration. A focus will be on how considering life’s unique attributes, notably the potential for exponential growth constrained by minimum, optimum, and maximum environmental conditions, changes the way in which we model the environment, both conceptually and numerically.


This talk will happen via Zoom, and can be accessed via this link <>, or alternatively with the following details:

Meeting ID: 951 6772 7730

Passcode: 182926

You can find details and abstracts of all past and upcoming talks, and recordings of some past online seminars, at our website: We have an exciting line-up of speakers planned for the next few months, and look forward to sharing the details with you as soon as they're finalised - so watch this space!

On behalf of the organisers,