Abderrazak El Albani

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Abderrazak El Albani is a Moroccan sedimentologist, Professor at University of Poitiers at the Hydrasa laboratory (IC2MP - CNRS).[1] 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,[2] which shed new light on the origin of multicellular organisms.

Biography[edit]

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[3] (University of PoitiersCNRS) in 1999. He was appointed University Professor in 2010.

Major discovery[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5] The discovery of these organisms moved back the date of the emergence of a multicellular life of 1.5 billion year.[6] This discovery has also increased our current knowledge of the evolution of the biosphere on Earth.

References[edit]

See also[edit]