Palaeobiology Major Overview

The main aim of the Palaeobiology Major is to provide students with a deep time perspective to the evolution and history of life on Earth. By studying the fossil record, students will learn more about the evolutionary relationships of animals and plants, the timing and correlation of important events in deep time, and explore fundamental questions related to fluctuating ecological and environmental parameters through time.

Coverage includes a broad survey of important invertebrate and vertebrate fossil groups, study of evolutionary processes as revealed by the fossil record, investigation of reef evolution through time (includes a field excursion to the GBR), application of fossils to reconstruct past environments, climates and behaviours, and the various ways that fossils can be used as tools to solve geological and biological problems. The melding of palaeobiology with evolutionary biology, genetics and developmental biology allows students to explore the new discipline of evo-devo which seeks to determine the ancestral relationship between organisms and understand how developmental processes evolved.