Emily Hughes

Whether sexual or asexual, reproduction is a necessity for all organisms that want to ensure their genetic material survives after they’ve bitten the dust (or in this case, the wet sand). Half-a-billion-year-old animals are no different. Although in many ways it’s difficult to study how these ancient organisms reproduced, doing so is a critical aspect...

Emily Hughes has been following her mother, paleontologist Mary Droser, into the field all her life. This summer the family is back in Australia digging up some of Earth’s oldest fossils. A question that members of the research team often get regarding our work in the South Australian outback is simply how we know where...

After a week’s worth of preparation and a day’s worth of traveling, my family and I have finally made it to Nilpena Station, a 950-square-kilometer cattle ranch located in the South Australian outback. Coming from our home in Southern California to this remote station is no small event, requiring hearty attitudes and a willingness to...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  Every occupation in the world has hidden requirements left out of the job description. Sometimes...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  This field season in the Australian Outback, amidst rain, storms and the occasional scary wedgetail...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  Any professional photographer can tell you how important light is for their job. The right...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  When we are young we need to memorize maps. We color in the countries of...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  Get ready to put on your 3D glasses for this one, because Ediacara fossils aren’t...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  Recently, I spent a few days in Hawaii for the first time. I spent most...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Her team digs up the creatures that form the evolutionary boundary between microorganism and animal—the Ediacaran biota.  Back in the day (meaning 560-million years ago), the Flinders Ranges were a much simpler...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. This time, she describes to us how excavation actually works in real life. From movies and TV, people imagine paleontology to consist of scientists in khaki shorts and a hat brushing dirt...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. In the Outback, north of Adelaide, Australia, the landscape holds surprising secrets. As you might imagine, the Earth was a very different place 560-million years ago. So different, in fact, that where...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. Here, she describes the tools of the trade. Silly putty: it bounces, it stretches, and it’s perfect for making molds of ancient fossils. That, along with other useful tools such as scrub...

Emily Hughes brings us tales of adventure and discovery from the Australian Outback as she and her mother search for unbelievably ancient fossils. This is her debut blog post. My name is Emily Bronwyn Hughes, and I have spent 13 summers of my life growing up in dirt. This dirt being, of course, the Australian...