Andrew H. Knoll

Andrew H. Knoll

Fisher Professor of Natural History and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Curator of the Paleobotanical Collections in the Harvard University Herbaria
Andrew Knoll

Members of the Knoll lab are broadly interested in the evolution of life, the evolution of Earth surface environments, and the relationships between the two. We are particularly interested in Archean and Proterozoic paleontology and biogeochemistry; however, both past and current projects include investigations of selected problems in Phanerozoic Earth history. Motivating evolutionary issues include the diversification of prokaryotic metabolisms on the Precambrian Earth, the initial radiation of eukaryotic life, and the rise of large complex algae and animals near the end of the Proterozoic Eon. Current projects include coupled paleontological/biogeochemical work on late Archean basins from southern Africa and Australia, mid-Proterozoic basins in Australia, and Neoproterozoic-Cambrian successions in northern Russia, China, and Australia. In a genuine extension of this research, we are also involved actively in Mars exploration, both as part of the 2004 MER missions and in planning for future landings. Our lab is also engaged in studies in efforts to apply physiological insights to problems of Paleozoic biological and environmental evolution, including early seed plant evolution and Permo-Triassic extinction and subsequent ecosystem recovery.

Recent Publications

Knoll, A.H. and M.J. Follows (2016)  A bottom-up perspective on ecosystem change in Mesozoic oceans.  Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 283: 20161755.

Knoll, A.H. (2014) Paleobiological perspectives on early eukaryotic evolution. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 6:a016121.

Knoll, A.H. (2013) Systems paleobiology. Geological Society of America Bulletin 125: 3-13.

Sperling, E.A., C.A. Frieder, P.R. Girguis, A.V. Raman,  L.A. Levin, and A.H. Knoll (2013) Oxygen, ecology, and the Cambrian radiation of animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110: 13446-13451.

Cohen, P.A. and A.H. Knoll (2012)  Neoproterozoic scale microfossils from the Fifteen Mile Group, Yukon Territory. Journal of Paleontology 86: 775-800. 

Knoll, A.H. (2011) The multiple origins of complex multicellularity. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 39: 217–239.

Pruss, S., S. Finnegan, W.W. Fischer, and A.H. Knoll (2010) Carbonates in skeleton-poor seas: New insights from Cambrian and Ordovician strata of Laurentia. Palaios 25: 73-84.

Wilson, J.P. and A.H. Knoll (2010) A physiologically explicit morphospace for water transport in seed plants.  Paleobiology 36: 335-355.

Contact Information

Botanical Museum, Rm 50
Museum of Comparative Zoology
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Office phone: 617-495-9306

Faculty Support: Sabinna Cappo
Email: scappo@fas.harvard.edu
Phone:617-496-6504

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