Paleontological research focuses on the history of the biosphere, the development of life and the biology of fossil species. Topics of particular interest are the distribution of biodiversity in space and time, the patterns and processes involved in mass extinction events and the recovery phases that follow, the origin of new bauplans, functional and constructional morphology, the phylogeny and patterns of evolution in relation to biotic and abiotic factors, the integration of paleontological and embryological data, the resolution of homology issues, paleoecology and dating of evolutionary processes. The current discussion of human impact on the extinction of species and on climate change has boosted the significance of research into biodiversity crises and the climate in prehistoric times.
MASTER'S DEGREE COURSE
The degree course is centered on the block courses and special lectures on paleobiology and the evolution of living organisms. Students acquire the necessary knowledge for working on present-day paleontology issues through the modules offered on evolution, morphology, systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, biochronology, stratigraphy and biodiversity. They put what they have learned into practice in fieldwork. Students can supplement their studies with additional modules chosen from the full range of biology modules and a number of the geology modules.
In this Master's program, students have to take one block course in paleontology (compulsory module) and the required module BIO338 Introduction to Scientific Writing (0 ECTS, one day in September or February). BIO338 should be taken before writing the Master's Thesis. The remaining modules are chosen together with the supervisor of the Master's thesis. The Master's coordinator is to be informed about the final compilation of modules. VVZ