Introduction to Paleoecology

Veranstalter: Karin Zonneveld


In this course, (palaeo-)ecological basics and working techniques are taught. In addition to basic knowledge of the interactions between the biosphere and the geosphere, the content of the course covers basics that are fundamental to critically examine current developments in methods and techniques with questions on evolution, the palaeoenvironment, palaeoceanography and palaeoclimatology. Through interactive lectures and exercises, the following topics will be discussed: (1) morphological, physiological and population dynamic adaptation to environmental conditions and their transmission in the geologic past; (2) marine and terrestrial ecosystems today and in the past; (3) biodiversity and geography; (4) environmental protection.

During a 5-day stay at the Senckenberg Institute in Wilhelmshaven, recent ecosystems and their fossil conservation potential will be studied and discussed during several field exercises.
An exam at the end of the course week


At the end of this course, students will have basic knowledge from a biological perspective, that is essential for palaeo-ecological, palaeo-oceanographic, palaeo-climatological and geochemical studies. Furthermore, students will have basic laboratory knowledge and skills required in palaeoenvironmental research.


Modul Exam consisting of two partial exams of the courses “Introduction in palaeontology” and “Introduction in Palaeoecology”




Literature and handouts will be provided during the course


1. SWS: Introduction
2. SWS: Basic ecological principles
3. SWS: Environmental factors and Autecology
4. SWS: Ecology Practicum Hooksiel
5. SWS: Fossilisation and taphonomy
6. SWS: Wadden Sea and nature protection
7. SWS: Excursion Schilling - actuopalaeontology
8. SWS: Practicum Schilling - palaeo-ecologcal sampling
9. SWS: Laboratory practicum actuopalynology - palynological preparation methods
10. SWS: Laboratory practicum fossil coastal ecosystems - establishing palaeo-ecological reconstructions
11. SWS: Practicum analysis of collected (micro)alaontological - environmental data
12. SWS: Practicum establishment of actuo-palaeontological reconstruction using multivariate analytics
13. SWS: Practicum establishment of actuo-palaeontological reconstruction using multivariate analytics
14. SWS: Exam