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Associate Professor of Biology
HQ Phone:  (607) 777-2000
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2200 Vestal Rd
Vestal, New York,13850
Binghamton University has built a reputation as a world-class institution that combines a broadly interdisciplinary, international education with one of the most vibrant research programs in the nation. Binghamton is proud to be ranked among the elite public u... more.
Museum of the Earth
We will host about 20 speakers on Saturday, including a keynote talk by Dr. William Stein of Binghamton University.
Breakfast, lunch, and the evening barbecue are included with registration.
Bill Stein, Binghamton University,
"There's more time between this forest and the earliest dinosaurs than the dinosaurs and us," said William Stein, an associate professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University who is among the researchers studying the Gilboa forest.
"The ancient forest soil was still preserved," Stein said.
Stein believes the fossils are between 370 to 380-million years old. / provided
"There's more time between this forest and the earliest dinosaurs than the dinosaurs and us," said William Stein, an associate professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University who is among the researchers studying the Gilboa forest. "The ancient forest soil was still preserved," Stein said. The quarry site has been filled in again, but there's still more to learn. Researchers are actively looking at other sites, and a group from Great Britain will conduct a chemical analysis of the discoveries. And while the Gilboa forest lies deep in the past, it may offer insight in the age of climate change, Stein noted. The emergence of ancient forests is believed to have caused the dramatic drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide, leading to the cooling of the Earth and ultimately a period of glaciation.
Working in conjunction with William Stein at Binghamton University, Frank Mannolini of the New York State Museum developed a sketch of what the Gilboa forest site might have looked like about 385 million years ago.
"It was like discovering the botanical equivalent of dinosaur footprints," said William Stein, associate professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University, and one of the article's authors. Stein, Mannolini, Hernick, and Dr. Christopher M. Berry, a paleobotany lecturer at Cardiff University in Wales, co-authored a Nature article reporting that discovery, as well as the most recent one. Working in conjunction with Stein, Mannolini also developed a sketch of the ancient forest. Following the discovery of the tree's crown, a thorough investigation was conducted by Stein and Christopher M. Berry, a paleobotany lecturer at Cardiff University in Wales and the other co-author of both Nature articles. The first glimpse of the unexpected complexity of this ancient forest came when Stein, Berry, Hernick and Mannolini found the remains of large scrambling tree-sized plants, identified as aneurophytaleans. "Trees probably changed everything," said Stein. "Not only did these emerging forests likely cause important changes in global patterns of sedimentation, but they may have triggered a major extinction in fossil record." For Stein, it all comes down to one thing - how much we don't know but need to understand about our ancient past. "The complexity of the Gilboa site can teach us a lot about the original assembly of our modern day ecosystems," said Stein.