Article & Interview on my work


article & interview by Vanessa Schipani

Beneath the surface of East Africa lies a ballooning expanse of hot magma. For more than 35 million years, the molten rock has driven the land skyward, creating the East African Plateau. Though most geologists agree on how the plateau formed, debate continues on when notable events of uplift occurred. In a recent paper in Geology, researchers provide evidence that supports two separate periods of major uplift, linking the plateau’s growth to important environmental developments in the region, such as the spread of grasslands and the diversification of plant and animal life, potentially including humans.
Researchers previously knew that the East African Plateau underwent significant uplift roughly 6 million years ago, but no one knew if major elevation growth occurred prior to this time. Henry Wichura, a doctoral student at the Institute for Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Potsdam in Germany, and his colleagues tried to nail down the plateau’s topographical history using an old lava flow...

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The full article is in the October issue of EARTH magazine. You can find and order it