EOSC 425 · Palaeontology

Paleobiogeography in the context of plate tectonics. Mass extinction events. Fossilization and biases in the fossil record. Species concepts in paleontology. Biostratigraphy. Paleontological evidence for early life; the colonization of oceanic and terrestrial environments and; the evolution of the primates. [2-3-0] Prerequisite: EOSC 222.

Course Availability & Schedule

Course Webpage

  Learning Goals

1. Describe the paleontological evidence for the origin of life and its subsequent development.

2. Use paleontological data and samples in the interpretation of Earth history and the development of the biosphere.

3. Investigate specific paleontological topics and present a synthesis of the data in both written and oral forms that is consistent with professional paleontological research practices.

Instructors

Dr. Stuart Sutherland
Dr. Paul Smith

Textbook

2009, Benton, M. J & Harper, D. A. T. Introduction to Paleobiology and the Fossil Record 

Course Content

Lecture Topics

MODULE 1: FOSSILS and PHANEROZOIC INVERTEBRATES (Sutherland)
Nature of the Fossil Record
Echinoderms
Bryozoans / Oceanic Circulation
Chitinozoa
MODULE 2: MAJOR EVENTS IN THE BIOSPHERE (Sutherland)
Early Life
The rise of the Metazoa and Snowball Earth
Phanerozoic Diversification
The Rise of the Primates and the Dawn of Consciousness
MODULE 3: FOSSILS AS SPECIES (Smith)
Species and Speciation
Taxonomy
MODULE 4: TRACEFOSSILS (Smith)
Trace Fossils
MODULE 5: PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHY (Smith)
Paleobiogeography
MODULE 5: MASS EXTINCTIONS (Smith)
Earth System Science and Extinction Events
Extinction events: case studies
MODULE 6: STUDENT LED SEMINARS

MODULE 1: FOSSILS and PHANEROZOIC INVERTEBRATES (Sutherland)
Nature of the Fossil Record
Echinoderms
Bryozoans / Oceanic Circulation
Chitinozoa

MODULE 2: MAJOR EVENTS IN THE BIOSPHERE (Sutherland)
Early Life
The rise of the Metazoa and Snowball Earth
Phanerozoic Diversification
The Rise of the Primates and the Dawn of Consciousness

MODULE 3: FOSSILS AS SPECIES (Smith)
Species and Speciation
Taxonomy

MODULE 4: TRACEFOSSILS (Smith)
Trace Fossils

MODULE 5: PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHY (Smith)
Paleobiogeography

MODULE 5: MASS EXTINCTIONS (Smith)
Earth System Science and Extinction Events
Extinction events: case studies

MODULE 6: STUDENT LED SEMINARS

Labs

TENTATIVE LAB SCHEDULE
Week 1: No labs
Week 2: Geological Time Exercise
Week 3: Take home Palynology readings from the text book (see below).
These readings will be tested using CONNECT. The test will be open for you to complete at home or at UBC from 9am on Monday of week 3 and will close 9am Monday of week 4. YOU HAVE 3 HOURS TO COMPLETE THE TEST (30 multiple choice questions) - it is a VERY Good idea to do the readings and take some notes before taking the test. Although you can take the test a number of times IT IS YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT THAT IS GRADED!!! The questions AND the answers are randomized. 
    READINGS:
    (These readings will also help prepare you for the lab starting in week 5)
    page 216 - 225
    page 229 - 233
    page 359
    Chapter 18 but specifically page 482; 487 - 488 & box 18.3; 493 - 497
Week 4: Echinoids / Bryozoans
Week 5: Palynofacies and Paleoenvironments 1
   The readings from the text book set in week 3 will be useful to you.
Week 6: Palynofacies and Paleoenvironments 2
    The readings from the text book set in week 3 will be useful to you.
Week 7: No labs (Monday 8 Oct). University closed for Thanksgiving. 
    Please start to work on a proposal for your seminar by completing this form: HERE
    Hand into EOAS main office to be placed in Stuart’s mailbox Monday 21 October.
    NOTE FOR 2013: you will be working either individually or in pairs ONLY.
    See HERE for details and suggestions about seminars / posters.
Week 8: Paleontology library seminar and poster rubrics.
    Kevin Lidnstrom, the Earth Sciences Librarian will introducing you to various resources that are
    available to help you in your poster / seminar research. AFTER the library seminar head back to
    the lab in EOSM for additional activities centered around the preparation of your posters.
    TIME: The first hour of your scheduled lab. Head on back to your lab room after the seminar.
    LOCATION: Woodward Library Computer Lab, Room B25 (basement level).
    Map to the library - HERE
Week 9: Taxonomy 1
Week 10: Taxonomy 2
Week 11: No ln class labs (Remembrance day week)
    1. Take home lab: HERE. This will be due in next week’s lab.
    2. Work on the following material  HERE  for your seminar to be discussed with your TA next week 
    during your scheduled lab section.
Week 12: Trace fossils and seminar workshop.
Week 13: Trace Fossils

 

TENTATIVE LAB SCHEDULE

Week 1: No labs

Week 2: Geological Time Exercise

Week 3: On-line exercise

Week 4: Echinoids / Bryozoans

Week 5: Palynofacies and Paleoenvironments 1

Week 6: Palynofacies and Paleoenvironments 2

Week 7: Seminar proposals

Week 8: Paleontology library seminar / poster rubrics / seminar preparation

Week 9: Taxonomy 1

Week 10: Taxonomy 2

Week 11: Take home lab and on-line assessment

Week 12: Trace fossils and seminar workshop.

Week 13: Trace Fossils