Poster - The Middle Marker: What can Africa's oldest sediments reveal about early life and its environment?

Final presentation of my Laidlaw research looking at ancient life in South Africa. Here I present my preliminary results and interpretations, and an overview of the next steps that I want to undertake in the future.

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Rory Changleng

Student, Mr

I'm a 4th Year undergraduate geology student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, UK. My Laidlaw research is focused primarily on understanding how early life interacted with its environment and how this environment may have in turn impacted upon lives evolution. In summer 2019, I undertook 2 weeks fieldwork in South Africa for my Laidlaw scholarship, collected samples and images. My research scope has adapted as I have continued my Laidlaw journey. I started off by looking at what 2.5 billion-year-old (Ga) rocks can tell us about the chemistry of ancient oceans, but after my fieldwork, I changed my focus to look at even older (3.47 Ga) rocks which contain evidence of some of the oldest life on Earth. I am spending summer 2020 investigating how the organisms preserved in these rocks may have biomineralised magnetic minerals and used these to navigate using Earth's magnetic field. I'm a classic crazy rock person, with a passion for the outdoors, rock music, and extreme sports like whitewater kayaking and mountain biking. I grew up in the Scottish Borders and have spent my life exploring the Scottish Mountains. Geology has taken me all over the world so far, from Greenland to the Alps and the U.A.E., and I'm certainly looking forward to more adventures to come!