Palaeontology and Global Change
Palaeontology and Global Change deals with the changing conditions and evolution of life on Earth.

Research topics include fossil mammals and their environments during the last 25 million years, the environmental and evolutionary context of early humans in Africa, and the history of climate change and ecosystems during the last 100,000 years. The effect of humankind on the biosphere is a multidisciplinary topic.

To tackle the increasingly pressing questions arising from the impact on humankind on our home planet we urgently need to understand both how the earth-life system works today and how it behaved in the past, under conditions that we cannot observe directly today but may encounter in the future. The long history of life on our planet is recorded in the remains and traces that organisms have left in geological strata billions of years, such as shells, bones, teeth, leaves or pollen, as well as the structure and composition of the rocks that contain them.

Previous studies required for this study track: BSc in geosciences or relevant, with minor studies in biology or broad selection (including biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, computing).

Struc­ture of stud­ies
  1. Advanced studies in Paleontology and Global Change min. 105 cr: Common courses, 50 cr, Essential courses: 25 cr, Working with fossils min. 5 cr Earth system archives, min. 5 cr, Sedimentary environments, min. 5 cr and Elective advanced studies min. 15 cr, see the course list.

  2. Other studies, min. 5 cr: Number of courses according to the number of advanced courses, so that 120 cr is filled.

Planned course list for 2020-2023

Advanced studies, min. 105 cr

Com­mon courses, 50 cr, compulsory

GEOM_1003 Conducting scientific research, 10 cr, periods III-IV, every year

GEOM_1008 Scientific Engagement, 5 cr, I-IV, every year

GEOM_1004 MSc Thesis, 30 cr

GEOM_1005 Internship, 5 cr, summer between 1. and 2. year

Essential courses, 25 cr, compulsory

GEOM_G2011 Paleoclimatology, period III, 5 cr, even years

GEOM_G2022 All about teeth, 5 cr, period I every year

GEOM_G2025 Fossil recognition and introduction invertebrate paleontology, 5 cr, period I, every year

GEOM_G2033 Quantifying the past, 5 cr, period III even years

GEOM_G2023 Introduction to Hominin Ecology and Evolution, 5 cr, period III, odd years

Working with fossils, choose min. 5 cr

GEOM_G2012 Life on the Baltic continent - A Palaeozoic history, 5 cr, period IV, even years

GEOM_G2021 Pollen analysis, 5 cr, period III, odd years

GEOM_G2027 Perspectives on Macroevolution and Macroecology, 3 cr, period III, even years

GEOM_G2026 Mammalian ecomorphology and introduction vertebrate paleontology, 5 cr, period I, even years

GEOM_G2028 Carnivore evolution, 5 cr, period II, odd years

GEOM_G2029 Field course/excursion, 5 cr, TBA

GEOM_G2051 Formation of the Fossil record, 5 cr, period IV, even years

ECGS-065 Practicals in past environmental change, 5 cr, period IV even years

Earth system archives, choose min. 5 cr

GEOM_G2013 Palaeoceanography - application of marine microfossils as paleoclimatological proxies, 5 cr, period II odd years

GEOM_G2024 Methods in paleoenvironmental reconstructions, 5 cr, period, II even years

GEOM_G2032 Advanced seminar in palaeobiology and palaeoclimatology, 5 cr, period II, odd years

GEOM_G2061 Terrestrial Paleoenvironments during the Cenozoic, 5 cr, period IV, odd years

GEOM_G2031 Introduction to the Pleistocene, 5 cr, period IV, even years

GEOM_H2022 Ympäristögeologinen tutkimusprojekti, 5 cr, period I, odd years

GEOM_H20011 Environmental geochemistry, 3 cr, period III, every year

GEOM_H20014 Stable isotopes in hydrogeology and environmental geology, 5 cr, period IV odd years

GEOM_G2034-6 Book examinations 1-3. 5-15 cr, general exams

Sedimentary environments, choose min. 5 cr

GEOM_G2041 Aquatic sedimentary environments, 5 cr, period IV, odd years

GEOM_G2042 Clastic sedimentology, 5 cr, period IV (June), odd years

GEOM_P2025 Basin analysis and Modern Stratigraphy, 3 cr, period I, odd years

GEOM_P2024 Sedimentary petrology, 5 cr, period III, even years

ECGS-011 Advanced aquatic and sediment biogeochemistry, 5 cr, period IV, every year

GEOM_H2066 Glacial sedimentary environments, 5 cr, period III, odd years

GEOM_H2064 Soil formation processes, 5 cr, period IV, even year

Statistics and modelling, optional

GEOM_S2044 Introduction to Quantitative Geology, 5 cr, period II, odd years

GEOM_1001 3D modelling, 5 cr, period IV odd years

PAP334 Statistical methods, 5 cr, periods I-II, every year

ATM308 Statistical tools for climate and atmospheric science, period I, every year

ATM310 Time series analysis in geosciences, 5 cr, periods II-III, even years

Geophysics, optional

GEOM_S2032 Environmental Magnetism, 5 cr, period, even years

GEOM_S2024 Paleomagnetism, 5 cr, period I-II, odd years

GEOM_S2012 Field course of Solid Earth Geophysics, 5 cr, period I, every year

GEOM_S2031 Ground Penetrating radar, 5 cr, period III, odd years

FYS2077 Introduction to Solid Earth Geophysic, 5 cr, period I, every year

GEOM_G2068 Geoscience seminar, 1-5 cr, periods I-IV, every year


You can also choose additional advanced courses from cross-over course packages offered by other Geo^2 study tracks, or courses that support your orientation from other study programmes.

Find the degree structure and course details in Eduviewer

Please check the course schedules always from Courses page!

Recent theses

Link to e-thesis database.

Examples of the thesis titles (see the database for all Geology theses):

Huilla Miikka, 2020. Changes in Peatland Vegetation Dynamics and Their Link to Climate in a Southern Boreal Bog during the Last Centuries

Hauhia Milena, 2019. Hampaan kiilteen mikrokuluminen vulkaanisen tuhkan vaikutuksesta ja sen merkitys hypsodontian evoluutioon.

Benjamin Heikki Redmond Roche, 2019. Diatoms as a sea-ice proxy – improving the accuracy of sea-ice reconstruction by re-analysing the northern North Atlantic training set for Fragilariopsis oceanica, Fragilariopsis reginae-jahniae and Fossula arctica, in addition to the chrysophyte cyst Archaeomonas sp.

Buchan, Michelle, 2018. Late Holocene firen history and vegetation dynamics: a pollen and charcoal record from a southern Finnish lake.

Mechenich Michael, 2017. Best Practices for Ecometric Analysis: A Case Study Correlating Climatic Conditions and Herbivore Teeth in Africa.

Oksanen, Otto, 2017. Feeding ecology of Lothagam and Koobi Fora carnivorans.

Paasi, Teea, 2016. Changes in hind limb proportions in Quaternary large carnivores in Northern Europe.

Kurki, Eija, 2016. The oxygen isotope composition of chironomid chitin as a proxy for oxygen isotope composition of lake water and related parameters in southern Spitsbergen, Svalbard, during mid- and late Holocene.

Jokela, Tuomas, 2015. The high, the sharp and the rounded: paleodiet and paleoecology of late Miocene herbivorous mammals from Greece and Iran.

Sova, Susanna, 2015. Biomineralization in domestic pig molars.

Kurkela, Janita, 2015.  Holocene monsoon dynamics and environmental history of Lake Kumphawapi, northeast Thailand.

Kähkölä,  Noora, 2015. Historical vegetation change and peat accumulation in a drained peatland Kalevansuo.

Rannikko, Janina, 2014. Experimental dental wear study of artificially worn teeth.