Public Release: 

Penn paleobiologist Lauren Sallan selected as a 2017 TED Fellow

University of Pennsylvania


IMAGE: Lauren Sallan, a paleobiologist and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named a 2017 TED Fellow for her innovative work exploring 'big data' approaches to paleontology and... view more

Credit: University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania's Lauren Sallan, an assistant professor in the School of Arts & Sciences' Department of Earth and Environmental Science, has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 15 innovators from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage in April in Vancouver, B.C.

Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program has 414 Fellows from 87 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 145 million times. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference with workshops and activities, a Fellows retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated public-relations coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network.

"What do a gut-brain neurobiologist, a Chinese entrepreneur innovating in food delivery and an investigative journalist reporting on authoritarian regimes in the Central African Republic have in common?" asked TED Fellows founder and director Tom Rielly. "As it turns out, a whole lot. We are thrilled to welcome our newest class of TED Fellows, an incredible group of exceptional achievers with exemplary character."

Sallan is a paleobiologist who uses "big data" approaches to understand how global events, environmental change and ecological interactions shaped evolution and modern biodiversity. Her work with fish fossils has shed light on mass extinction events, leading to a publication in Science and coverage by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Motherboard and other outlets.

"This is an amazing opportunity," Sallan said, "to share what fossil data tells us about the rules of biodiversity with a global audience and connect with incredible people doing awesome things. I am excited and honored to have been chosen."


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