Ongoing research within the Palaeobiology Programme
Palaeozoic diversification of animal life
Main emphasis is to elucidate the stem-groups of major phyla (Brachiopoda, Mollusca, Arthropoda) in order to reconstruct the evolutionary origins of modern taxa.
Origins and early diversification of photosynthetic microbiota
Investigation of the phenotypic features, ultrastructure and biochemistry of Proterozoic-Cambrian microbiota ("acritarchs") with advanced techniques in microscopy and spectroscopy in search of their affinities and timing of divergences. Study of the response of the phytoplankton to the end-Proterozoic glaciations to test theories of their severity and impact on the biosphere.
Phenotypic evolution of marine microalgae during the Cenozoic
Statistically robust time series of size changes in microfossils are related to proxy records of past climate, in combination with experimental studies of modern species under variable environmental conditions.
Molecular approaches to palaeobiology
Research focuses on molecular developmental biology of key non-model organisms, such as priapulids and onychophorans, to resolve evolutionary patterns within the Ecdysozoa (arthropods and relatives). This includes involvement in the Priapulus genome project.
Mesozoic vertebrate macroevolution
The aim is to investigate macroevolutionary trends in various lineages, with special emphasis on the radiation of reptiles (e.g. turtles, dinosaurs and marine groups) during the Cretaceous and especially in polar environments.
Human-nature interaction during Holocene
The research within this field focus on the role of human impact in the landscape and the environment, and processes and interactions in the environment when humans move into new areas or uses natural resources of different kind. The work concerns primarily late Holocene (2500 years ago until today) and study areas is foremost Falu mine and its surroundings (Falun, Dalarna) and different sites in Iceland. Methods used within the project is palaeoecology, sedimentology, different types of archaeological material and studies of former investigations through archives (geology, archaeology, geotechnology).
Staff: Magnus Hellqvist
Earth science educational research and communication
The goal within this research is to develop research and studies in earth science educational research and communication, which is a unique research area in Sweden. The research in educational research is closely connected and in corporation with educational research in physics at Uppsala University. The work is built on different kind of techniques for studies in educational research, and questions dominating at the moment is identity, misconceptions of earth science knowledge and studies concerning filed work and excursions. Project within the area communication is studies around communicating earth science and how to work with this towards the public.