Palaeontology and stratigraphy research

Explore our work in palaeontology and stratigraphy, 1 of our areas of expertise in Earth and Environmental Sciences

Our research in palaeontology and stratigraphy explores how fossil records can help us understand past climates and environments – and through our greater knowledge of the past, effectively predict and model the threat of climate change and its impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.

We’re addressing fundamental questions of palaeobiology and evolution, and applying biostratigraphy and kerogen analysis to source rock characterisation in hydrocarbon exploration. We’re developing and applying novel analytical techniques in organic matter characterisation, and helping the hydrocarbon industry to improve source rock characterisation.

We’re using applied research in the field of energy resources to optimise the use of existing fossil fuels in emerging and developing economies. We're investigating organism-sediment interactions in the context of fossil preservation, and the colonisation of new ecosystems and ecosystem engineering.

Our work is featured in publications such as Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, and Cretaceous Research. We collaborate on research with international partners, including universities in Europe, USA, Canada, South America, Australia and Africa, and industrial partners in the hydrocarbon and coal exploration industry.

Much of our research makes use of our palaeontology laboratory facilities, which include a Palynology laboratory for acid processing.

Our work explores the following topics

  • Palaeobiology and Evolution
  • Biostratigraphy and Palynofacies
  • Taphonomy and Trace Fossils
  • Palaeoclimate and Palaeoecosystems
  • Experimental Palaeontology
  • Hydrocarbon and Coal Exploration

Publication highlights

Discover our areas of expertise

Palaeontology and stratigraphy is 1 of our areas of expertise in the Earth and Environmental Sciences research area. Explore the others below.

Crustal Evolution

We're exploring the fundamental changes that created our planet and the long-term and large-scale processes that shaped the Earth's development through time.

Crustal evolution in evidence, Scotland
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Engineering Geology and Natural Hazards

We're researching the causes, impacts, preparation for and management of natural anthropogenic phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, debris flows, volcanoes and floods.

Volcanic eruption at Mount Etna
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Environmental processes and impacts

We're looking at the monitoring, movement and impacts of contaminants and pollutants in the environment, and identifying problems and potential solutions.

Pollution from factory rising into a dark grey sky
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Research groups

Centre for Applied Geosciences

We're researching the investigation and management of natural and manmade hazards to help communities adapt to environmental change.

Interested in a PhD in Earth & Environmental Sciences?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Earth & Environmental Sciences postgraduate research degrees page.