Mass Extinction Events

What’s the likelihood of a mass extinction event happening in our lifetime?

In this episode, Jess is joined by world-renowned organic geochemist, Professor Kliti Grice, to discuss how researchers are using fossil analysis to learn from past mass extinction events, like the event that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

She clarifies when the next naturally occurring mass extinction event will likely occur and answers the question: with the undeniable impact that humans are having on the planet, are we in the middle of a human-induced mass extinction event?

  • Describing mass extinction events [00:49]
  • What’s Professor Grice’s new project? [03:11]
  • Possibility of a natural or manmade extinction event in our lifetime [06:55]
  • How to minimise the chances of another event [09:53]
  • Why does Professor Grice love her work? [10:39]

Get involved

Are you a high school student or teacher based in the Perth metropolitan area? 

Professor Grice is hoping to partner with high schools and give students the opportunity to take part in experiments to grow artificial fossils in a laboratory, as part of a new AUD$3 million research project.

If you think your high school would be interested, please email Professor Grice at

Learn more

Connect with our guests

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Kliti Grice, Founding Director of the Curtin-based Western Australian Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Facility.

Professor Grice is a world-renowned organic geochemist, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a recipient of a prestigious 2021 Australian Laureate Fellowship from the Australian Federal Government. She is known for finding a geological and environmental basis for the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history, which occurred about 252 million years ago.

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