A 7.5 hp Master’s course in palaeontology, in collaboration with the Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University
Life itself is one of the most important geological forces on our planet. Organisms have profoundly affected everything from the physical appearance of the landmasses we live on, to climate change and its consequences. We know this in large part because of palaeontology. Being at the interface between the physical and life sciences, palaeontology is vital to the field of Earth Science because it is the key to many geological archives including biostratigraphy (determining the age of rocks), and climatic and oceanographic proxies, which tell us about environmental conditions in the past. In addition, palaeontology reveals the evolutionary processes that shaped all life and show us how the plants and animals of our modern world evolved.
In this course, you will learn about the evolutionary history of life; mass extinctions; the main categories of fossil animals and plants through time, including microfossils and pollen; the use of fossil archives in the interpretation of environments and chronology; as well as the interplay between evolution, ecology, global nutrient cycles, ocean and atmospheric composition, and climate systems through Earth history.
At the Department of Paleobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM), our collections hold approximately two million animal fossils and 300 000 fossil plants and pollen slides. You will be taught by the experts in each of the fields of palaeontology, mostly at NRM but also at the Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, and will experience how collections can be used in palaeontological research.