UPI: UC geologist photographs oldest known land fossils

International research team writes about microfossils found in China

United Press International reported on a discovery coauthored by a University of Cincinnati geologist of the oldest known land fossils on Earth.

The microfossils of fungi were found in 635-million-year-old sedimentary rock in China. The discovery was published in the journal Nature Communications.

UC associate professor of geology Andrew Czaja, a paper co-author, captured microscopic images of the crystal-like fungus. Researchers believe fungus in caves helped speed the end of a planet-wide ice age by reversing feedback loops.

The discovery could suggest that fungus predated terrestrial plants.

Lead author Tian Gan, a postdoctoral researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, called the finding "an accidental discovery."

But Gan said the fossil could help us better understand the forces behind climate change more than 600 million years ago.

Read the UPI story.

Featured image at top: A microscopic image shows the filament-like microfossils found in China. Photo by Andrew Czaja/University of Cincinnati.

Andy Czaja outside Geo-Phys on UC's Uptown Campus.

UC geologist Andrew Czaja, pictured in this file photo, was part of an international team that discovered 635-million-year-old microfossils in China. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

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March 2, 2021

Event: March 5, 2021 9:30 AM

On Friday, March 5, The Cincinnati Project (TCP) will host its seventh-annual symposium titled “The Art and Science of Socially Just Community Partnered Research,” sponsored by UC’s College of Arts and Sciences and The Taft Research Center. Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) Mohan Dutta will deliver the keynote speech. Based in New Zealand, CARE is a global organization dedicated to developing community-based solutions for social change, advocacy and activism, inspired by the conviction that health is a human right. Founded in 2016, TCP unites researchers from UC’s College of Arts and Sciences with community partners to benefit marginalized communities in Cincinnati, tackling economic, race, gender and health issues. Past TCP research has focused on high eviction rates in Hamilton County, resulting in city legislation to protect the rights of renters through an eviction prevention plan. In addition to the keynote speaker, the symposium will include discussion panels from area organizations such as Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, the Center for Closing the Health Gap, and UC faculty researchers. Topics will include ways in which community-based research can be conducted in socially just ways, in order to benefit the communities it is designed to serve. The symposium will be held virtually via Zoom from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please visit The Cincinnati Project.

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