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Abderrazak El Albani

Abderrazak El Albani is a French-Moroccan sedimentologist, Professor at University of Poitiers at the Hydrasa laboratory (IC2MP - CNRS).[1] He is significant for having discovered the oldest known fossils of multicellular organisms in the 2.1 billion year-old black shales of the Paleoproterozoic Francevillian Group Fossil Formation in Gabon,[2] which shed new light on the origin of multicellular organisms.


French-Moroccan geologist, born in Marrakesh, he studied in the University of Lille, from which he received a doctorate after defending a thesis on geology and sedimentary geochemistry. Between 1996 and 1998, he spent a postdoctoral period at the University of Kiel, in Germany. He published several scientific articles on Paleo-environments, Geobiology and Diagenesis in sedimentary basins. He then joined the Hydrasa laboratory[3] (University of PoitiersCNRS) in 1999. He was appointed Professor in 2010.

Major discoveryEdit

In 2008, A. El Albani was the head of an international team which discovered fossil and multicellular forms of life at the macro-scale in a fossiliferous site situated in the province of Haut Ogooué in Gabon. In July 2010, this research work made the cover of the scientific magazine Nature.[4] The study of these fossils disclosed the emergence of a multicellular, complex and organized life in Precambrian rocks as old as 2.1 billion years.[5] The discovery of these organisms moved back the date of the emergence of a multicellular life of 1.5 billion year.[6] This discovery has also increased our current knowledge of the evolution of the biosphere on Earth.


  1. ^ Hydrasa laboratory Archived April 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Albani, Abderrazak El; Bengtson, Stefan; Canfield, Donald E.; Bekker, Andrey; Macchiarelli, Roberto; Mazurier, Arnaud; Hammarlund, Emma U.; Boulvais, Philippe; Dupuy, Jean-Jacques (2010-07-01). "Large colonial organisms with coordinated growth in oxygenated environments 2.1 Gyr ago". Nature. 466 (7302): 100–104. doi:10.1038/nature09166. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 20596019.
  3. ^ HydrASA - Clays, soils and alterations
  4. ^ Maxmen, Amy (2010-06-30). "Ancient macrofossils unearthed in West Africa". Nature News. doi:10.1038/news.2010.323.
  5. ^ "Discovery of a complex, multicellular life from over two billion years ago - CNRS Web site - CNRS". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  6. ^ Up Front: Abderrazak El Albani on the Discovery of Ancient Multicellular Life

External linksEdit


El Albani, A., Macchiarelli, R., Meunier, A. 2016. Aux origines de la vie - une nouvelle histoire de l'évolution. Dunod Paris, 224 pp., many b/w pictures in the text, 8 tables of color photos. ISBN 978-2-10-073791-8.

Troppenz, U.-M., Schmälzle, D. 2015. Wohin die Spuren führen - das neue Bild des Präkambriums: Franceville-, Montana und Ediacarafauna. Tetrada Parchim, 192 pp., 162 photos, 2 time tables. ISBN 978-3-00-047871-0.

Troppenz, U.-M. 2017. The New Precambrian - no "boring", but bustling billions in a succession of evolutions and global catastrophes. Tetrada Parchim, 140 pp., 115 photos, 2 time tables. ISBN 978-3-00-054215-2.