Wiess School of Natural Sciences
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Biochemistry & Cell Biology
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The Rice Science Café is a meeting where for the price of a cup of coffee or tea, a glass of wine or beer, anyone can come explore and debate the latest ideas in science and technology.

A science café's casual meeting place, plain language, and inclusive conversation create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for people with no science background. A scientist gives a brief presentation Black Labon an interesting topic in their area of expertise to kick off the discussion. The Science Café meets at the:

Black Labrador Pub
4100 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
Churchill Room - 1st floor

Located on Montrose Blvd. between Colquitt and W. Main (just north of Richmond Ave.)

Free parking is available in the garage behind the Black Lab.

Seating is first come first serve—the room has a limited capacity.

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TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2017   •   6:30 p.m.

André Droxler, Ph.D. 
Professor, Department of Earth Science
Rice University

When you survey the cliffs overlooking the Llano River in Central Texas, it’s hard to imagine that they were underwater a half-billion years ago and formed part of the North American coastline during the Upper Cambrian era. But that’s what brought Rice marine geologist André Droxler and his team of researchers on a rare land-based expedition.

Droxler has spent most of his career studying the evolution of deep ocean environments, from Belize to the Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef.

“I never thought you could discover something on land,” he said. “To discover something in the middle of Texas, it’s pretty exciting.” According to Droxler, the area near Fredericksburg has some of the best outcrops in the world containing fossilized prehistoric bacteria and microbes. He believes these microbial reefs contained the first forms of life on Earth.

Since 2012, the Rice professor and his graduate students have made many trips to Mason County, drilled more than 150 core samples and virtually mapped the area using a drone. Droxler said the three summers here “have been some of the happiest summers I have had in my life,” and he returns with the same excitement as the first time he paddled down the Llano River in search of half-billion-year-old “time capsules.”