Abderrazak El Albani

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Abderrazak El Albani is a French-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 year-old black shales of the Paleoproterozoic Francevillian Group Fossil Formation in Gabon,[2] which shed new light on the origin of multicellular organisms.


French-Moroccan geologist, born in Marrakesh, he studied in the University of Lille, from which he received a doctorate after defending a thesis on geology and sedimentary geochemistry. Between 1996 and 1998, he spent a postdoctoral period at the University of Kiel, in Germany. He published several scientific articles on Paleo-environments, Geobiology and Diagenesis in sedimentary basins. He then joined the Hydrasa laboratory[3] (University of PoitiersCNRS) in 1999. He was appointed 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.


  1. ^ Hydrasa laboratory Archived April 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Albani, Abderrazak El; Bengtson, Stefan; Canfield, Donald E.; Bekker, Andrey; Macchiarelli, Roberto; Mazurier, Arnaud; Hammarlund, Emma U.; Boulvais, Philippe; Dupuy, Jean-Jacques (2010-07-01). "Large colonial organisms with coordinated growth in oxygenated environments 2.1 Gyr ago". Nature. 466 (7302): 100–104. doi:10.1038/nature09166. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 20596019. 
  3. ^ HydrASA - Clays, soils and alterations[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Maxmen, Amy (2010-06-30). "Ancient macrofossils unearthed in West Africa". Nature News. doi:10.1038/news.2010.323. 
  5. ^ "Discovery of a complex, multicellular life from over two billion years ago - CNRS Web site - CNRS". www2.cnrs.fr. Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  6. ^ Up Front: Abderrazak El Albani on the Discovery of Ancient Multicellular Life

External links[edit]