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Robert Gastaldo, Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology at Colby College, will present the inaugural lecture of the Whipple-Coddington Chair in Geology on Thursday, April 19, on the Waterville campus. The 8 p.m. lecture, “Fossil Plants as Indicators of Paleoclimates in the Deep Past,” will be in Given Auditorium of the Bixler Art and Music Center. The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.

The features that plants develop provide a proxy for the climatic conditions under which they lived. These same features can be found in fossil plants and can be used to interpret ancient climates. Gastaldo will discuss the ways in which plants respond to their environments and use these facts to explore what we can learn about geologic history and changing climates.

Prior to joining the Colby faculty in 1999 Gastaldo was a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Netherlands, a Forschungpreistrager of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and a professor of geology at Auburn University. He currently is co-editor of the international journal PALAIOS.