By the end of the course the student is expected to know and understand the principles of the classical Micropaleontology and its more recent applications within Earth Sciences. Specifically, the student should be able to: 1) know and understand the general features of the microfossil groups; 2) know and understand the applications of the microfossil groups within the stratigraphic, paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic reconstructions of sedimentary successions; 3) apply the knowledge of the basic principles of taxonomic classification through microscope observation.
Knowledge of Paleontology
Course contents summary
Concepts of Micropaleontology, main microfossil groups and their application in Geoscience
Introduction to Micropaleontology
Biostratigraphy (principles and methods of biostratigraphic analysis) and relationships with Stratigraphy, Chronostratigraphy and Geochronology
Surficial and deep oceanic circulation and marine sediments
General features and applications of the following groups of microfossils:
- calcareous microfossils: Nannofossils, Foraminifera and Ostracods;
- siliceous microfossils: Diatoms, Silicoflagellates, Radiolaria;
- organic wall microfossils: Dinoflagellates;
- other groups: Acritarchs, Conondonts, Calpionellids and Tintinnids
Fieldwork dealing with the analysis of stratigraphic section and sampling methods. Practicals dealing with biostratigraphic interpretations (in class), methods of sample preparation for the micropaleontological analysis of foraminiferal and nannofossil assemblages (in laboratory) and principles of taxonomic classification of foraminifera (microscope)
Material used in the lectures (slides, scientific papers)
Armstrong H.A. & Brasier M.D. 2005. Microfossils. Blackwell. Publishing
Frontal lectures using multimedial tools (in classroom and on line via Teams) and practical lessons in laboratory and at microscope (in classroom).
Assessment methods and criteria
The final evaluation will take into account:
- results of the practicals
- oral exam to verify the knowledge and understanding, the capability of applying knowledge and understanding regarding the topics treated during the course and the communication skills.
In case of health emergency the oral exam will be held on line (via Teams).