Applied palaeoecology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course prepares the students to deal with the analysis of the interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms (particularly marine invertebrates) in the geological past in order to understand the evolution of the ecosystems in deep time.
Expected learning outcomes
To recognize the biotic and abiotic factors that have governed the distribution of organisms in the geologic past. The student must be able to recognize the main biotic and abiotic factors that led to the formation of a fossil association, reconstructing its living environment.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
If in the second semester the health emergency conditions remain, the following changes will be made due to the contingent situation.
Teaching methods:
Asynchronous lessons (videolessons recorded by the professor with audio commentary) will be made available, organized to cover the topics of each week according to the established timetable.
Some of the lessons will be used as a moment of revision and deepening of what is proposed in the asynchronous lessons, and will be carried out using the Microsoft Teams platform with registration, to allow them to be used both in synchronous mode and in asynchronous mode.
All the above material, the pdf of the slides and notices relating to any update related to the evolution of the legislation imposed by Covid-19, will be timely published on the Ariel website of the course.

The program and reference material will not change.

Learning assessment procedures and criteria:
The exam will be held orally using the Microsoft Teams platform. In particular, the exam will be aimed at:
- ascertain the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and understanding;
- ascertain the ability to apply knowledge and understanding through the discussion of case studies discussed during the lessons;
- verify the student autonomy of judgment through the analysis of specific examples discussed during the course;
- ascertain the knowlwdge of the specific terminology concerning palaeontology and palaeoecology and the ability to present the arguments in a clear and orderly manner.

If the regulations concerning social distancing allow it, the planned field (paleoecology excursion) and laboratory activities will be held. Participation in these activities will be voluntary and will have no impact on the final vote.
Course syllabus
The course is aimed at paleoecological and paleoenvironmental reconstructions and the evaluation of broad themes ranging from biology to geology. The course is divided into lectures (40 hours) and laboratory activities (16 hours), during which the analysis of fossil associations through the use of specific software and a field excursion are scheduled.
History and significance of Paleoecology. Taxonomic uniformitarianism. Environments, lifestyles and trophic strategies. Biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere interactions. Factors that regulate the distribution of fossil organisms. Abiotic factors (light, nutrients, oxygen, temperature, salinity, substrate, currents, depth). Biotic factors (competition, predation, parasitism, protocooperation, commensalism). Taphonomy. Sampling methodologies. Functional morphology. Population dynamics. Survival curves. Community analysis. Indices of biodiversity. Analysis of the Pachycyrtella bed (Permian, Oman).
Field excursion (Albenza, Stirone or Arda).
Prerequisites for admission
Prerequisites: fundaments of palaeontology.
Teaching methods
Type of exam: Written;
Attendance: strongly recommended;
Delivery method: Traditional.
Teaching Resources
PALAEOECOLOGY: Ecosystem, environments and evolution. P. J. Brenchley & D.A.T. Harper. Chapman & Hall, 1998.
PALAEOECOLOGY Concepts and application.
2 ed., J. Dodd & R.J. Stanton Jr. John Wiley & Sons, 1990.
EARTH'S CLIMATE Past and Future
W.F. Ruddiman. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 2001

Slide (on Ariel) and articles given during the course.

Slide (on Ariel) and articles given during the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Method: written test.
Type: written test with open answers, two requiring an exhaustive discussion and two with short answers; duration: 2 hours.
Evaluation parameters:
- ascertain the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and understanding;
- ascertain the ability to apply knowledge and understanding through the discussion of case studies discussed in class;
- verify the student's autonomy of judgment also through the analysis of examples of paleoecological studies discussed during the course;
- ascertain the appropriateness of the specific language relating to paleontology and paleoecology and the ability to present the topics in a clear and orderly manner.
Type of evaluation: mark out of thirty.
The result of the written test will be communicated via email within 15 days of the test.
GEO/01 - PALEONTOLOGY AND PALEOECOLOGY - University credits: 6
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Angiolini Lucia
Monday 14.30
Department of Earth Sciences "Ardito Desio" or by email.