Early life and biotic evolution

Reconstructing Earth’s biosphere through time

Western Australia’s Pilbara region contains some of the earliest evidence for life on Earth. Our researchers use sophisticated analytical instruments and geochemical methods to identify biological material in ancient rocks. The results of their studies provide a window into Early Earth environments and have important implications for the existence of life on other planets.

Exciting research is also being undertaken in the younger sedimentary basins of Western Australia and Southeast Asia that contain excellent fossil records.

UWA researchers study microscopic organisms such as spores and pollen as well as larger skeletal organisms to establish age of deposition. Microscopic organisms, especially pollen, have important applications in petroleum exploration.

Fossils of all sorts, including stromatolites, provide evidence for environments that existed in the past, such as open seafloor, reefal systems, estuaries, coastal zones, lakes and river floodplains.

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37th in the world for Earth and Marine Sciences (QS 2021)

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2nd in Australia and 38th in the world for Environmental Science and Engineering (ARWU 2023)

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