Elemental: How Five Elements Changed Earth's Past and Will Shape Our Future
- Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
- Sustainable Agriculture Program
- Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
- Environmental Science Program
- Office of Sustainability
- Bioeconomy Institute
- Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government)
It is rare for life to change Earth, yet three organisms have profoundly transformed our planet over the long course of its history. Porder will discuss how microbes, plants, and people used the fundamental building blocks of life to alter the climate, and with it, the trajectory of life on Earth in the past, present, and future. He will highlight humans’ similarities to, and differences from, our world’s changing predecessors. Finally, Porder argues that understanding world-changing organisms helps illuminate a path to a more sustainable future.
Stephen Porder is associate provost for sustainability and professor of ecology, evolution, and organismal biology at Brown University, where he is also a fellow in the Institute for Environment and Society. Porder is the author of over 70 peer reviewed publications and the new book Elemental: How five elements changed Earth's past and will shape our future. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Natural History, and other leading publications. He is also the cofounder of Possibly, a radioshow/podcast that airs on The Public’s Radio and provides practical advice on sustainability to a general audience (available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher).
The University Book Store will be onsite selling Elemental at the event.
This lecture was recorded and can be found on the Available Recordings page.