February 21, 2017

6:00PM - 7:00PM
World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut Street
  • Lauren Sallan

    Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science

The Rise of Tiny Fish

Penn Science Cafe

The 64,000 living species of vertebrates dominate ecosystems on land (as tetrapods, including humans) and in the sea (as ray-fin fishes and sharks.) The rise of vertebrates in the Paleozoic (542-250 million years ago) is usually cast as a gradual march towards bigger and better things. Paleontologist Lauren Sallan will describe how new, 'big data' approaches to the early fossil record have shown that modern vertebrate biodiversity is the unlikely, but predictable, result of global change, environmental challenges, ecological interactions, and even mass extinction.

Expert faculty from the University of Pennsylvania shed light on their research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences at the Penn Lightbulb Cafe. It's an evening of engaging, stimulating conversation, with a Q&A session following each talk.

Presented by Penn Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Office of University Communications, Penn Cafe events are free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged. For more information or directions, contact Gina Bryan at 215-898-8721 or email at

Menu items are available for purchase. Happy Hour pricing from 4–6 p.m.