Last things sos

Belcourt Theatre Nashville, TN


Emily Simpson, Lecturer, MTSU Department of Geosciences

Last Things— A forgotten world: the lives of the ancestors of African mammals

Who done it? Paleontology can tell us much more than simply which animals were carnivores; new tools are always developing that can tell us more specifically what, where, and how animals were eating. Put the pieces back together to solve the mystery of an ancient crime scene.

This event is part of our 2024 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Belcourt Theatre Nashville, TN

Film Synopsis

Evolution and extinction from the point of view of rocks.

    Last Things looks at evolution and extinction from the perspective of the rocks and minerals that came before humanity and will outlast us. With scientists and thinkers like Lynn Margulis and Marcia Bjørnerud as guides and quoting from the proto-Sci-fi texts of J.H. Rosny, Deborah Stratman offers a stunning array of images, from microscopic forms to vast landscapes, and seeks a picture of evolution without humans at the center.

    Credit: Pythagoras

    About the Speaker

    Emily Simpson is a paleoecologist. She uses fossils and often their chemistry to uncover stories about how ancient plants interacted with each other and the world around them. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati, and is completing a dissertation on a group of animals from 34 million years ago that experienced a rapidly changing world-and survived. She has worked on a wide variety of organisms, and thoroughly enjoys telling their stories. Emily’s master’s was at East Tennessee State University on the impact of large, ice age mammals on the Appalachian bald ecosystems. She has worked all around the country and in a variety of geologic times. Currently, she is teaching at Middle Tennessee State University, and enjoys capturing her students’ imaginations with the past.