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Cursus: GEO4-1422
Evolutionary paleobiology and proxies
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (M (Master))
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
VoertaalEngels, Nederlands
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Earth Sciences;
Contactpersoondr. B. van der Schootbrugge
VorigeVolgende 1
dr. T.H. Donders
Overige cursussen docent
Gastdocent(en) / Guest lecturer(s)
Feedback en bereikbaarheid
Overige cursussen docent
dr. F. Sangiorgi
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. B. van der Schootbrugge
Overige cursussen docent
dr. B. van der Schootbrugge
Overige cursussen docent
3  (05-02-2018 t/m 20-04-2018)
TimeslotB: B (DI-ochtend, DO-middag, DO-namiddag)
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 30-10-2017 08:00 t/m 26-11-2017 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 22-01-2018 08:00 t/m 23-01-2018 23:59
PlaatsingsprocedureStudiepunt/Student desk
The main aim of this course is to illustrate how large scale abiotic processes reshaped the evolutionary history of biota and their communities and how, in turn, the changes in biota (as evidenced by the fossil record) inform us about past environmental changes.

The students will learn:
  1. To work with (large) dataset for qualitative and quantitative paleo-reconstructions, decide the best strategy to simplify complex the data and validate data by means of statistical analyses;
  2. To integrate multi-proxies data providing the student with a broad vision on time scales and simultaneous changes in different environments (terrestrial and marine);
  3. To think critically about the potentials and pitfalls of the various methods used and decide which method is most suitable to find the adequate solution
  4. Written and verbal communication skills by means of presenting data as written reports and oral presentations
  5. To work individually and in teams (leadership skills)
  6. Technical skills (e.g., microscope, computer software)
  7. To critically analyze literature as presented in scientific papers and reported in the media (social media and/or press, etc.) thereby learning how reliably (and how ethically) scientific information are presented to a wide audience.
The course deals with the evolution, biology and ecology of selected marine microorganisms and terrestrial vegetation and their use as fossils for past environmental and climate reconstructions during the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic. The course will focus on organic and calcareous microscopic remains/fossils (foraminifers, dinoflagellates, pollen and spores). Much attention will be given to the importance of linking changes occurred simultaneously in the marine and terrestrial environment. The course also deals with the (biologically-mediated) process of incorporation of chemical elements into foraminifer shells and thus shells’ chemical composition as proxy for reconstructions of past water column properties.

Next to fundamental knowledge on evolution, paleoecology, and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, the course will train the students’ taxonomical skills. Students will learn to work with complex data, to perform quantitative and statistical analyses, to think critically, and to present their results orally. All these skills are desired and/or required for successful job applications.
Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen
  • Toelatingsbeschikking voor de master toegekend
BSc in Biogeology or equivalent. Students may contact the coordinator to ask for entry requirements in case a different study path was followed.
Students are supposed to have firm background in Biology and Earth history. Students from Utrecht University have ideally attended bachelor courses such as Earth History, Evolutionary Biology, Paleoecology, Paleontology, Ecology and Evolution, Marine Sciences (BIO), Paleoceanography, Sedimentary Systems, Paleoclimatology
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
Contact the coordinator for information. How you can gain previous knowledge depends on your background.
Bronnen van zelfstudie
The coordinator and the teachers will provide literature next to the lecture material for in-depth insight into the subjects of the lectures.
Verplicht materiaal
Aanbevolen materiaal
Literature is provided every week to allow an in-depth view of the subject. Literature can be compulsory or facultative, depending on the subject. This will be communicated to the students.


Lectures are not compulsory but highly recommended as the practical are related to lectures.

Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Students are asked to present scientific finding from the news, which are then discussed in class every week. Students may be asked to read literature before class session.
Students will work toward a final presentation and write reports during the course.


Missed practical must be done and will be checked. The rules of the course and what is expected from the students are explained at the beginning of the course and made available on Blackboard.

Bijdrage aan groepswerk
Several exercises are done in groups. Each student is expect to contribute to group work (reports, presentations)

Minimum cijfer-

Exam 50%, practical 25%, final presentation 25%

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