People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers
668: Searching the Sediments to Uncover Sources of Food and Water for Early Humans - Dr. Gail Ashley
Manage episode 336998680 series 2394067
Dr. Gail Ashley is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. She is Undergraduate Program Director and Director of the Quaternary Studies Graduate Certificate Program. Early humans are known to have originated in East Africa. Gail works alongside paleoanthropologists to uncover and better understand records of these early humans. As a geologist, Gail focuses on providing context about the environment these early hominins lived in, including the climate, potential foods, and water sources. Gail lives on a property in New Jersey with plentiful woods, and she heats her home with a wood-burning stove. One of the things that helps Gail relax is spending time outside splitting, stacking, and storing firewood. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology from the University of Massachusetts and completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. After receiving her Ph.D., Gail accepted a faculty position at Rutgers, and she has been a faculty member there for 39 years. Gail has received many awards and honors during her career including the Sedimentary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America’s Laurence L. Sloss award for her lifetime achievements in sedimentary geology, as well as an Outstanding teaching award from the Association of Women Geoscientists. She has also served as President of the Society for Sedimentary Geologists, President of the Geological Society of America, President of the Society of Economic and Petroleum Mineralogists, and President of the American Geosciences Institute. In addition, Gail has served as Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Sedimentary Research. In our interview, Gail tells us more about her journey through life and science.