Evolutionary Palaeobiology

20 credits

This module will focus on the long-term patterns of speciation, diversity, morphology change and extinction. These will be discussed in the context of environmental, climate and biotic controls. Content will span terrestrial and marine realms, and plant, invertebrate and microfossil groups.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Show a detailed understanding of key patterns in the long-term records of speciation, extinction and trends in morphological evolution and adaptation across multiple marine and terrestrial, invertebrate and micro- fossil groups.
  • Be able to formulate the potential abiotic (climate, environment, palaeogeography) and biotic (competition, predation, co-evolution) drivers of large-scale patterns of evolution.
  • Be able to manage and examine palaeontological datasets in the context of macroevolutionary studies.
  • Be able to use palaeontological data and palaeobiological theory to question and debate issues of modern global change biology.


  • Two-hour exam
  • Individual seminar presentation
  • Data practical exercise