By the end of the course the student is expected to know and understand the principles of marine paleoecology and its applications within Earth
Sciences. Specifically the student should be able to to deeply know and understand how fossils can be used for paleoenviromental reconstructions at level of individual, population and community
Course contents summary
Principles of marine Paleoecology and its applications within Earth Sciences. Fossilis as (paleo)environmental indicators.
- Introduction (definitions and subdivision of paleoecology; relationships
between ecology and paleoecology);
- Basic concepts of ecology and the marine ecosystem (physical
environments, life modes and trophic strategies of marine organisms);
- Environmental control on organism distribution in the marine
- Taxonomic uniformism and functional morphology;
- Fossils as environmental indicators;
- Paleoecologic reconstruction at population and community levels;
- Quantitative analysis of fossils assemblages
- Practicals: 1) analysis at microscope of foraminiferal assemblages indicative of different marine paleoenvironments; 2) examples of
paleoenviromental/paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic reconstructions based on fossil foraminiferal assemblages
Material used during the lectures (slides, scientific papers)
1) Brenchley P.J. & Harper D.A.T., 1998. Palaeoecology: ecosystem,
environments and evolution. Chapman & Hall.
2) Raffi S. & Serpagli E., 1993. Introduzione alla Paleontologia. Utet.
3) Murray J.W., 1993. Ecology and paleoecology of benthic foraminifera.
Longman Scientific &Technical.
4) Murray J., 2006. Ecology and Applications of benthic foraminifera.
Cambridge University Press.
5) Pinet P.R., 2006. Invitation to Oceanography. Jones & Bartlett.
Frontal lectures using multimedial tools in classroom (slides and audio/video material will be uploaded on Elly) and practical lessons in classroom and at microscope.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final evaluation will take into account:
- results of the practical at microscope and in classroom
- 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).