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Learning From Your Neighbours Lecture Series: Dr. Maria Pawlowska

Thursday, Sep 29, 2022 06:30pm to 07:30pm

Adventures in the Proterozoic: the 2 billion years that shaped our planet and an old fashioned Eureka moment.

The Proterozoic lasted for 2 billion years. It is the longest geologic eon and its end marked the rise of plant and animal life as we know. The Proterozoic Earth would have seemed an alien place with it's purple oceans and toxic atmosphere, but the geological and biological processes that took place over those two billion years ultimately led us to where we are today - even though most of us have no idea how to pronounce Proterozoic much less know much about it. Having spent a good few years studying this fascinating period of Earth's history, I'd like to tell you a little about why it is indeed so interesting and share a somewhat unexpected story of how I managed to solve one of the mysteries of this time period.

Maria Pawlowska completed her PhD in Proterozoic geobiochemistry (i.e. how the world worked and looked a very long time ago) as a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University. She has also worked on fossil embryos and billion year old fats (true story on both counts). About a decade ago Maria moved from active research to research management and has since worked with governments, not-for-profits, Fortune200 companies and individual scientists on implementing best research and development practices in fields as diverse as quantum physics, electronics, cancer studies and neurobiology. She has also assisted in the creation of over a dozen international research centres and is co-author of the research data management guidelines used in two dozen countries and by nearly all major research funders in the world.

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