History of Biosphere: Marine and Terrestrial environments, Life modes and trophic strategies, Global changes in atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere, Geophysiology. Environmental control on biotic distribution: the structure of biosphere, Limiting factors on the distribution of organisms (light, nutrients, oxygen, temperature, salinity, substrate composition). Taphonomy: preservation potential (the fidelity of fossils assemblages), destruction (chemical, biological and physical) on sediment surface and below the sediment surface, Fossil lagersttaten, the taphonomy of plants and vertebrates. Adaptive morphology: terminology, growth strategies, investigative methods (paradigm approach, experimental palaeoautoecology, computer simulation), Adaptation, Morphology and environments (Pre - Vendian, Vendian, Tommotian, Cambrian, Paleozoic and modern biotas). Trace fossils: Preservation and taxonomy of ichnofossils, Marine and marginal marine trace fossils, Bioerosion, Terrestrial ichnofacies, Evolution of trace fossils. Fossils as environmental indicators: Clastic shelves, Carbonate environments, Oxygen deficient environments, Environment with high and low salinity, Firmness of substrate. Populations and communities: Types and dynamics of populations, Variations in populations, Spatial distribution, Opportunist and equilibrium species, Community structure, Numerical analysis of community, Community organization, Species diversity through time. Paleobiogeography: Modern biogeography, Definitions of paleobiogeography, Controls on biogeography (Dispersal vs. Vicariance biogeography), faunal province through time, Paleoclimatology, Biogeography and evolution and extinction. Evolutionary paleoecology of the marine biosphere: Diversification event in Earth history (the origin of life, the earliest prokaryote, appearance of eukaryote and metazoan, the Ediacara fauna, Cambrian fauna and three great evolutionary faunas), Extinction (pattern, causes and recoveries). Fossil terrestrial ecosystems: initial adaptation s and earliest fossil record of animals and plants, terrestrial ecosystem through time.
Basic knowledge and understanding of the key aspects and concepts of paleoecology.
Knowledge and and understanding of the complex nature of interactions within the past biosphere.
Ability to integrate field and laboratory evidence with theory following the sequence from observation to recognition, synthesis and paleoecological modeling.
Basic ability to combine theory and practice to complete paleoecological reconstruction.
Ability to use simple quantitative methods and to apply them to paleoecological and paleogeographical problems.
Ability to critically evaluate paleoecological analyses in the literature.
- Brenchley, P.J. & Harper, D.A.T., 1998, Palaeoecology, Ecosystems, Environments and evolution, Champan & Hall, London
- Prothero, D.R., 1998, Bringing fossils to life, An Introduction to Paleobiology, McGraw-Hill