This module links the geological record of the distribution and abundance of organisms to molecular phylogenetic data for timescales of the Earth's orbital variations. It will examine the behaviour of organisms in response to climate changes on timescales of millenia and longer. Possible responses can be categorised as (i) evolution (by lineage splitting, or speciation, the source of biological diversity), (ii) extinction, or (iii)changes in distribution and abundance. The relative importance of these responses, and their relative frequency, are crucial for understanding the origin of biological diversity, its regionalisation (biogeography), and as a foundation for how organisms will respond with climate change in the future. The module will show the development of ideas in these areas, from the early nineteenth century onwards, through to current understanding, including recent developments in geography, Earth sciences and biology.