Palaeontology: The History of Life (BIOL263)

BIOL263 is a 3 CP unit convened by Glenn Brock and offered in S2.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an introduction to the history and evolution of life on Earth. In this unit, students will be exposed to important core concepts in palaeobiology such as evolution and extinction, functional morphology and biostratigraphy, and will investigate the morphology and evolutionary significance of the most important invertebrate and vertebrate animals groups (such as trilobites and dinosaurs) and plants in the fossil record. Combined with the opportunity to work with real fossil material during practical classes, students will also learn how fossils are used in applied palaeontology to solve various biological, ecological and geological problems. This approach gives students the opportunity to develop a deep time perspective to many of the environmental issues and challenges facing the world today. A voluntary, one day excursion to the Hunter Valley is also available and will allow students to observe fossils in the field and to collect their own fossil material.