The Rock Archive is a blog conveying the current state of knowledge on life and Earth’s changing environments using simple illustrations. We also focus on showcasing different tools geologists use to extract environmental information out of rocks.

We touch upon key subjects such as:

The rock record

The rock record plays a critical part in understanding the geological history of Earth and other planets!

Life in the environment

What is the role of life in shaping Earth’s surface environments and vice versa? A question that we like to explore in natural and laboratory settings.

Tools we use

How do we extract meaningful information out of rocks? Discover how geologists work in the lab and field.

About the creators of the Rock Archive

Kärt Paiste

Postdoctorate fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis

Out of all possible career paths, why would someone want to study rocks? While a typical answer would be dinosaurs, I wanted to portray past worlds. Rock formations are like ancient libraries that preserve information about Earth’s past. Careful investigation of this archive can answer questions concerning Earth’s evolution from a dust cloud to a rocky planet capable of supporting life. However, reading the rock record is like restoring a book that has been ripped into pieces, whereas some of the pages have been scattered around the library and others have gone entirely missing. To complete the book, it is not only necessary to examine the existing pages but noticing what is missing can also provide valuable information. For me that is the beauty of geology, which I gradually discovered over the course of my studies. 

Ichiko Sugiyama

Ph.D. candidate at the Weizmann Institute of Science

My first encounter with the field of geology was when my father gave me a fossil kit in my home ‘town’ of Tokyo. Seeing these strange creatures sparked my curiosity about the history of the Earth and the Universe. While I maintained my interest in science as a child, it wasn’t until my undergraduate studies that I rediscovered my passion for geology, when I stumbled upon a course on terrestrial planets. This course ultimately led me on a decade-long path to investigate the Earth’s past, where I have discovered the rich history of our planet through the rock record. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the Weizmann Institute of Science in the field of geobiology. Here, I combine experimental and modeling approaches to understand the evolution of the metal and nutrient cycles through time. When I’m out of lab, I follow my passions for science communication and graphic design which led me to join the Rock Archive team. I hope you enjoy our blog!  

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