Professor Susannah Porter was exposed to geology at an early age. Her father studies Quaternary climate change, and as a teenager she accompanied him as a field assistant to the Big Island of Hawaii and to the Qinghai Plateau and Inner Mongolia regions of China. Susannah received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Yale University in 1995 and her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2002, where she studied paleontology. After Harvard, Susannah completed a one-year NASA Astrobiology Post-Doctoral Fellowship at UCLA, and started at UCSB in 2003. Susannah's research focuses on the early fossil record of animals and their protistan relatives. She has worked on problems relating to the early evolution of skeletal biomineralization, the influence of "snowball Earth" glaciations on the diversity of life, and the early evolution of eukaryotes. Her fieldwork areas have included central Australia, Tasmania, West Africa, southern and central China, and the Grand Canyon. At UCSB, Susannah teaches a GE course on The Age of Dinosaurs, and three upper division courses: Principles of Paleontology, Invertebrate Paleobiology, and Early Life and its Environmental Context.In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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