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UC Riverside Paleontologist Appears on Discovery Channel’s “First Life with Davi


UC Riverside Paleontologist Appears on Discovery Channel’s “First Life with David Attenborough”

Mary Droser discusses early animal life in documentary airing Sunday, Oct. 24

(October 22, 2010)

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Mary Droser is a professor of geology and the chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at UC Riverside.  Photo credit: Droser lab, UC Riverside.

Mary Droser is a professor of geology and the chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at UC Riverside. Photo credit: Droser lab, UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Mary Droser, a professor of geology and the chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, is one of the scientists featured in “First Life with David Attenborough,” which will air on the Discovery Channel Sunday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The program documents how nature’s first animals evolved and ultimately gave rise to the modern animals we know today. Blending state of the art CGI with an array of exotic locations, Sir David Attenborough, a world-renowned naturalist, will provide viewers of the program with detailed explanations of the development of the digestive tract, how some species evolved to have more than 5,000 lenses as eyes, and how the existence of a “living fossil” could very well be likely.

The producers of the show contacted Droser for her expertise on early animal life. She visited Australia in December 2009 to take part in the documentary, and enjoyed working with Sir David and the film crew.

“Sir David was wonderful and curious – exactly as he appears in his documentaries,” she said. “He genuinely is so very excited about life on this planet and wants to know more.”

Droser is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Paleontological Society of America Charles Schuchert Award for exceptonal promise in research in paleontology. Her other honors include a Richard G. Osgood, Jr., Memorial Lectureship in Geology in 1998 and being named, in 1993, the Paleontological Society of America Distinguished Lecturer.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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