Galen Cadley, ’21, Geosciences

I conducted fieldwork to locate Archaeocyathid sponges within early Cambrian rock in order to understand the role of early reef structure in creating the biodiversity we see in the fossil record after the Cambrian explosion. The research team and I investigated how Archaeocyathid sponges might have contributed to the creation of reef structure. We collected samples from early-Cambrian rock for further study in the lab at Princeton. I used GPS coordinates to record where we gathered each sample and to mark approximately 1,000 random points within a diamond grid for the purpose of creating a rendering of our site. Using these data and aerial photographs taken during two drone flights, we digitally reconstructed a 3D model of our site. This internship enhanced my course of study and helped me develop a skill base and excitement for fieldwork. I am more excited about the research opportunities that my junior paper and senior thesis will provide and am considering postgraduate education.