Lately, the term “geobiology” has become very fashionable in the geosciences. It has appeared repeatedly in documents concerning future directions and funding of paleontological research, in job announcements for positions at a number of prominent universities, and will even serve as the title of a new journal scheduled to appear next year. My aim in this essay is to present a personal view of what geobiology is and its relationship to paleontology.

Geobiology, which is more of a research agenda than a formal discipline, focuses on the processes and evolution of the coupled Earth-life system through time. It is characterized...

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