Abderrazak El Albani
Abderrazak El Albani is a Moroccan sedimentologist, Professor at University of Poitiers at the Hydrasa laboratory (IC2MP - CNRS). He is significant for having discovered the oldest known fossils of multicellular organisms in the 2.1 billion years-old black shales of the Palaeoproterozoic Francevillian Group Fossil Formation in Gabon, which shed new light on the origin of multicellular organisms.
French geologist, born in Marrakesh, he studied in the University of Lille 1, from which he received a doctorate after defending a thesis on geology and sedimentary geochemistry. Between 1996 and 1998, he spent a post-doctoral period at the University of Kiel, in Germany. He published several scientific articles on Paleo- environments, Geo-biology and Diagenesis in sedimentary basins. He then joined the laboratory Hydrasa (University of Poitiers – CNRS) in 1999. He was appointed University Professor in 2010.
In 2008, A. El Albani was the head of an international team which discovered fossil and multicellular forms of life at the macro-scale in a fossiliferous site situated in the province of Haut Ogooué in Gabon. In July 2010, this research work made the cover of the scientific magazine Nature. The study of these fossils disclosed the emergence of a multicellular, complex and organized life in Precambrian rocks as old as 2.1 billion years. The discovery of these organisms moved back the date of the emergence of a multicellular life of 1.5 billion year. This discovery has also increased our current knowledge of the evolution of the biosphere on Earth.
- Hydrasa laboratory
- Large colonial organisms with coordinated growth in oxygenated environments 2.1 Gyr ago, Abderrazak El Albani1, Stefan Bengtson2, Donald E. Canfield3, Andrey Bekker4, Roberto Macchiarelli5,6, Arnaud Mazurier7, Emma U. Hammarlund2,3,8, Philippe Boulvais9, Jean-Jacques Dupuy10, Claude Fontaine1, Franz T. Fürsich11, François Gauthier-Lafaye12, Philippe Janvier13, Emmanuelle Javaux14, Frantz Ossa Ossa1, Anne-Catherine Pierson-Wickmann9, Armelle Riboulleau15, Paul Sardini1, Daniel Vachard15, Martin Whitehouse16 & Alain Meunier1, Nature 466, 100-104 (1 July 2010)
- HydrASA - Clays, soils and alterations
- Ancient macrofossils unearthed in West Africa
- Discovery of a complex, multicellular life from over two billion years ago
- Up Front: Abderrazak El Albani on the Discovery of Ancient Multicellular Life
- El Albani Abderrazak, IC2MP
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