Martin Brasier, Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Oxford and Adjunct Professor at Memorial University, Newfoundland until his retirement in 2013, died in a car accident on 16 December 2014. He is most famous for his outstanding studies of the early biosphere, from the first appearance of life on Earth to that of essentially ‘modern’ animals and protists in the Cambrian. The enormous influence he had in this field, and the respect that he inspired, are evident from the meeting held in his honour in Oxford on his retirement in 2013 (http://www.palaeocast.com/evolution-and-early-life/), and the award of the...

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