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Unit information: Evolutionary Palaeoecology in the field in 2021/22

Unit name Evolutionary Palaeoecology in the field
Unit code EASC30070
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Donoghue
Open unit status Not open
  • EASC10008 Introduction to Field Skills in Earth Sciences
  • BIOL20018 Computational Methods in Biology
  • EASC20047 Stratigraphy and palaeontology fieldwork
  • EASC20029 Introduction to Field Mapping


School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

A field course devoted to palaeontologic, sedimentological and stratigraphic field observations of terrestrial and marine settings. The location of the field course will vary between years.

The unit aims to enable students to acquire the field skills necessary for:

  • Identifying fossil organisms in the field
  • Palaeontological faunal and floral community analysis
  • Discriminating stratigraphic, ecological, and evolutionary controls on the distribution of fossil organisms
  • Taphonomic interpretation of fossil assemblages
  • Palaeoenvironmental and palaeocological interpretation of fossil assemblages

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Identify fossil organisms in the field
  • Design and implement a strategy for unbiased sampling of faunal composition
  • Employ computational methods for the comparative analysis of faunal composition
  • Discriminate between factors that constrain the distribution of fossil organisms
  • Undertake effective palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological analyses

Teaching Information

Content will be delivered through synchronous fieldwork and workshops.

Students who cannot engage in field work may be required to complete alternative activities, either during the academic year or subsequently, in order to meet intended learning outcomes of the unit, prepare them for subsequent units and to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Information

Coursework 100%

comprising three assessed fieldwork exercises

The unit mark will be derived from short exercises. These will involve documentation, analysis and interpretation of sedimentological and palaeontological features observed in various settings.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EASC30070).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.