One of the benefits of teaching at University is that you need to stay current in your field, but also be able to explain new findings in contest of larger issues. One can only do so much, but clearly as one who teaches about evolution, need to keep up with the big historical concents like transitional fossils and the Cambrian Explosion. Not my field, I’m more comfortable with evolutionary genetics. But in preparing for a lecture I did a little work on these areas and list here some of the references I found useful.
Erwin et al (2011) The Cambrian Conundrum: Early Divergence and Later Ecological Success in the Early History of Animals. Science 334(6059):1091-1097. Puts new fossil findings into context with evidence for environmental changes. Suggests role for acquisition of new forms of regulation of development as key.
Fossils come in to land — Covers a point-of-view debate over whether fossils deemed to be early marine organisms found in rocks of the Ediacaran period in South Australia were instead evidence for fossilized soils. This would suggest that these Ediacaran organisms lived on land. If true, that’s an invasion of land much earlier than the dates in textbooks.
Origins of new genes http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v4/n11/abs/nrg1204.html
Lyson et al (2010) Transitional fossils and the origins of turtles. Biology Letters 6(6):830-833 Discusses role of new fossils applied to phylogeny reconstruction and adds to the debate over whether turtles form clade with Diapsids or Archosaurs or are outside these relationships. Discusses differences in results/implications between morphology and molecular datasets.