Meet Andrew Knoll, Ph.D.

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations


Andrew K. Knoll, Ph.D., the Fisher Professor of Natural History; also Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University. Professor Knoll is one of the world's foremost experts on the early evolution of life, Earth’s environmental history, and, especially, the interconnections between the two. He is also a member of the science team for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission to Mars. Andrew Knoll is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Microbiology. The Knoll Lab

Dr. Knoll appeared on SftPublic's Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations program March 08 2016 to discuss The Co-Evolution of Organisms and Their Environments. He emphasized how the evolution of all life on Earth also involves the evolution of our planet's geology, oceans and atmosphere as well. What changes in one sphere leads to changes in another. He also discussed his award-winning (2003) popular book, Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth.

August 23, 2021 on SftPublic's Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations Dr. Knoll discussed his new book [A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters](], a splendid and very accessible explanation of how Earth's geological-chemical-biological interrelationship has evolved over 4 billion years. He also addresses the need to understand the impact on Earth's systems due to the present era of climate change caused by humans.

April 09, 2019 on SftPublic's Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations Dr. Knoll discussed **Mass Extinctions ** --a comparison between ancient mass extinctions and the one we are witnessing now that is related to human-induced climate change. He also explained the interesting -and somewhat unpredictable-- relationship between the cause of an extinction and the impact on particular species and/or ecosystems.

Selected honors:

  • the Walcott Medal
  • Mary Clark Thompson Medal of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science (for his 2003 book Life on a Young Planet)
  • the Moore Medal of the Society for Sedimentary Geology
  • the Paleontological Society Medal
  • the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London.