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Frequently Asked Questions

Why study paleoecology?

The organisms making up modern marine ecosystems look almost nothing like their ancestors 500+ million years ago. Most ecological theories are based on an underlying assumption that the system being studied is in a state of equilibrium. Modern ecosystems are heavily influenced by a host of recent changes to the biosphere - chiefly caused by human activity. Only through understanding history will we be able to understand modern systems.

Why focus on shelled molluscs?

For every biological question there are preferred study organisms. To study historical ecosystems you need a faithful record. Molluscan shells have a number of excellent characteristics: 1. There is a 1:1 relationship between the number of living organisms and the remains that they leave in the sediment when they die. 2. Shells have a high preservation probability, that is to say that they are very durable and can survive in sedimentary deposits for millions of years.

Why focus on soft-sediment benthic communities?

Sedimentary records are found in areas of net deposition. Rocky shores and coral reef matrix are more difficult to work with than soft-sediment lagoons. Soft-sediments preserve shelled molluscs in a relatively straight-forward stratigraphic package, simplifying temporal reconstruction and spatial correlation.

Can I get involved?

Absolutely... Check out the opportunities page for more details.

Who else is involved?

Check out the people page for more information on the people involved.

What research projects are you currently working on?

Check out the projects page for more details on current projects.

Do you have any favorite papers?

Absolutely... Check out the readings page for a list of favorite papers.

How does this site work?

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