Knowledge and understanding Basics of ecology: biotic and abiotic factors. Interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms in the present, especially for the ocean ecosystem. Applying knowledge and understanding: Ability to apply the skills acquired to the geological past to understand the evolution of ecosystems through time.
Making judgements: Distinction between data to be acquired and paleoecological reconstructions. Evaluation of ecological factors. Evaluation of simple ecological models. Communication skills: Ability to describe and illustrate the knowledge gained during the course both with regard to current ecological factors and paleoecological proxies. Learning skills: Ability to base the acquired biogeochemical processes and the dynamics of the ocean ecosystem in the present and in the geological past.
Paleoecology Introduction to Paleoecology Principles of ecology: concepts of biodiversity, population, communities, ecosystems, ecological niches. The main factors that govern the distribution of present organisms. Paleoecology of benthic invertebrates: taxonomic uniformism Abiotic and biotic factors regulating the distribution of benthic marine organisms. Sampling methodologies; Population dynamics; Community analysis; Biodiversity Indexes. Paleoecology of marine plankton: abiotic and biotic factors regulating the distribution of calcareous, siliceous, chitinous shell organisms. Life strategies (r- and k- strategists). Analysis of populations and fossil associations. Paleoecology and litogenesis: biogenic platforms and pelagic sediments.