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.
1. Common courses, 55 cp: 3D modelling, 5 cp; Isotope geochemistry, 5 cp; Conducting scientific research, 10 cp; Thesis 30 cp; Internship 5 cp
2. Advanced courses: Compulsory courses: 20 cp: Paleoclimatology 5 cp; Life on the Baltic vontinent - A Palaeozoic history 5 cp; Fossil recognition 5 cp and Quantifying the past 5 cp ; Optional courses additional 40 cp, see the course list.
3. Optional studies: 45 - 5 cp (number according to the number of advanced courses, so that 120 cp is filled).
Common courses (55 cp)
|Common courses course package||55 cp||Compulsory|
|period II/ every year||3D modelling||5 cp||Compulsory|
|period I/ every year||Isotope geochemistry||5 cp||Compulsory|
|periods III-IV/ every year||Conducting scientific research||10 cp||Compulsory|
|1. to 2. year||MSc Thesis||30 cp||Compulsory|
|summer between 1. and 2. yr||Internship||5 cp||Compulsory|
Advanced courses (20-60 cp)
|Paleoclimatology (course package):||10 -15 cp||Compulsory|
|period III/ 2018, 2020||Paleoclimatology||5 cp||Compulsory|
|period IV/ 2018, 2020||Life on the Baltic continent - A Palaeozoic history||5 cp||Compulsory|
|period II/ 2017, 2019||Palaeoceanography - application of marine microfossils as paleoclimatological proxies||5 op||optional|
|Working with Fossils (course package):||25 cp||Optional (exept one course)|
|period III/ 2019, 2021||Pollen analysis||5 cp||Optional|
|period I/ 2018, 2020||All about teeth||5 cp||Optional|
|period II/ 2018, 2020||
Palaeontological Perspectives on Biodiversity
|period II/ 2018*, 2020||Plant macrofossils and environmental reconstructions (*2018 replaced with Testate amoeba (Protozoa: Rhizopoda) and environmental reconstructions, 3 cp)||5 cp||Optional|
|period I/ 2017, 2019, 2021||Fossil recognition and introduction invertebrate paleontology||5 cp||Compulsory|
|period I/ 2018, 2020||Mammalian ecomorphology and introduction vertebrate paleontology||5 op||Optional|
|period IV/ 2018, 2020||Palaeobioindicators||5 op||Optional|
|Earth system archives (course package):||20 cp||Optional (exept one course)|
|period II/ 2017, 2019, 2021||Advanced seminar in palaeobiology and palaeoclimatology||5 cp||Optional|
|period III/ 2018, 2020||Quantifying the past||5 cp||Compulsory|
|general exams||Book examinations 1-3||5-15 cp||Optional|
|Sedimentary environments (course package):||15 cp||Optional|
|period IV/ 2019, 2021||Aquatic sedimentary environments||5 cp||Optional|
|period I/ 2018, 2020||Clastic sedimentology||5 cp||Optional|
|period III/ 2018, 2020||Sedimentary petrology and basin analysis||5 cp||Optional|
|Other courses||15 cp||Optional|
|period I/ 2018, 2020||Environmental Magnetism||5 cp||Optional|
|periods I-II/ 2017, 2019||Paleomagnetism||5 cp||Optional|
|period III/ every year||X-Ray methods||5 cp||Optional|
|Optional courses (sub-5 cp thematic courses, field courses etc. In batches of 5)||5-10 cp||Optional|
|TBA||Long terrestrial sequences||0-5 cp||Optional|
|TBA||Cladocera analysis||0-5 cp||Optional|
|TBA (spring 2019, 2021)||Dendrochronology||0-5 cp||Optional|
|TBA||Chironomid analysis||0-5 cp||Optional|
|period IV/2018, 2020||Maannokset ja niiden prosessit||0-5 cp||Optional|
|TBA||Special courses on current topics||0-5 cp||Optional|
|TBA||Sequence Stratigraphy||0-5 cp||Optional|
|every year||Geoscience Seminar||0-5 cp||Optional|
Examples of the thesis titles (see the database for all Geology theses):
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 artifically worn teeth.
- The effects of grain size and particle hardness on tooth wear. An experimental study using a mechanical masticator. (Mikael Fortelius)
- The effect of hard particles in Mesozoic plants on tooth wear. An experimental study using a mechanical masticator. (Mikael Fortelius)
- A palaeo-diet study using angle-based mesowear of fossil mammals from X (details to be agreed on). Would involve travel to appropriate museum (e.g., Uppsala. Vienna, Stuttgart). Co-supervised by Juha Saarinen. (Mikael Fortelius)
- An ecometric analysis of fossil mammals from Y (details to be agreed on). Would involve travel to appropriate museum (e.g., Uppsala. Vienna, Stuttgart). (Mikael Fortelius)
- The fossil rhinoceros remains from Orce, early Pleistocene of Andalucia, Spain. Would involve travel to the collections in Granada and/or participation in the field work at Orce (always in July). (Mikael Fortelius)
- Origin and stability of the surface landforms on a raised bog in the Valkmusa national park, Finland (involves fieldwork in Finland) (Heikki Seppä)
- Using charcoal piece analysis for fire history reconstruction in the boreal coniferous forest (involves fieldwork in Finland) (Heikki Seppä)
- Vegetation and wildfire history in the Evo region, southern Finland. A study based on pollen and charcoal data (involves fieldwork in Finland) (Heikki Seppä)
- A novel approach for vegetation biomass reconstructions using pollen data from a lake sediment core from southern Finland (involves fieldwork in Finland) (Heikki Seppä)
- Quantifying the rate of temperature change in Europe during the rapid climate changes of the late-glacial period (no fieldwork) (Heikki Seppä)
- Spatio-temporal climate reconstructions using a new Bayesian method (no fieldwork) (Heikki Seppä)
- Younger Dryas-Holocene warming as an analogue for the current warming in the high latitudes (no fieldwork) (Heikki Seppä)
- Regional extinctions of arctic-alpine plants in Europe during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (no fieldwork) (Heikki Seppä)