This volume focuses on the broad pattern of increasing biodiversity through time, and recurrent events of minor and major ecosphere reorganization. Intense scrutiny is devoted to the pattern of physical (including isotopic), sedimentary and biotic circumstances through the time intervals during which life crises occurred. These events affected terrestrial, lacustrine and estuarine ecosystems, locally and globally, but have affected continental shelf ecosystems and even deep ocean ecosystems. The pattern of these events is the backdrop against which modelling the pattern of future environmental change needs to be evaluated.
John Talent's degrees are from the University of Melbourne. After brief periods as UNESCO Professor at the University of Dhaka, and Caltech he taught at Macquarie University, Sydney, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His fieldwork has been undertaken in many parts of southern and central Asia and Australia. He was President of the International Paleontological Association and is now a member of Geological Society of Australia and India.