AST: Life Sculpted

June 24th, 2023

7pm – 9pm

In Person

Location: Mutation Brewing, 5825 Roswell Rd NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Atlanta Science Tavern: Life Sculpted: Breaking, Scraping, Drilling, and Crunching through Time


More than a billion years ago, bacteria, algae, and fungi began breaking down rocks in oceans, a role they still perform today. About a half-billion years ago, animal ancestors began drilling, scraping, gnawing, or breaking rocky seascapes. In turn, their descendants crunched through the materials of life itself—shells, wood, and bones. Today, such “bioeroders” continue to shape our planet—from the bacteria that devour our teeth to elephants that carve out caves in mountains.

Following the crumbs of lichens, sponges, worms, clams, snails, octopi, barnacles, sea urchins, termites, beetles, fishes, dinosaurs, crocodilians, birds, otters, walruses, monkeys, and (of course) humans, Life Sculpted reveals how bioerosion expanded with the tree of life, becoming an essential part of how ecosystems function while reshaping the face of our planet. With vast knowledge and no small amount of whimsy, Martin uses paleontology, biology, and geology to reveal the awesome power of life’s chewing force. He provokes us to think deeply about the past and present of bioerosion, while also considering how knowledge of this history might aid us in preparing for climate change in the future. Yes, Martin concedes, sometimes life can be hard, but life also makes everything less hard every day.

Find more info on the new book here

Anthony (Tony) J. Martin, Professor of Practice, Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University

Anthony (Tony) Martin is a Professor of Practice at Emory University, where he has taught classes in geology, paleontology, and environmental sciences. His research specialty is ichnology, the study of modern and ancient traces caused by animal behavior, such as tracks, trails, burrows, and nests. He is the author of nine books, including DINOSAURS WITHOUT BONES, THE EVOLUTION UNDERGROUND, TRACKING THE GOLDEN ISLES, and LIFE TRACES OF THE GEORGIA COAST. His latest book is LIFE SCUPLTED, published June 2, 2023. In 2015 – in recognition of his accomplishments in scientific exploration and public outreach – he was elected as a Fellow in The Explorers Club and a Fellow in the Geological Society of America. He and his wife Ruth live in Decatur, Georgia with their cats Tao and Sapelo. 🐈‍⬛


June 24th, 2023

Mutation Brewing, 5825 Roswell Rd NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

6:30pm – Doors Open

7:00pm – Gather at Mutation

7:15pm – Talk start

8:00pm – Q & A

Updated on July 6, 2023

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