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International Master in Geosciences: Palaeobiology

Student News and Tweets

Student News and Tweets

Shifting Baselines

Dr. Emilia Jarochowska’s Proxies in Environmental Reconstruction class learned about shifting baselines to understand how we compare trends in the natural environment over time. The Paris Climate Agreement, for example, aims to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial temperatures. The shifting baselines exercise is meant to understand how our definition of “normal” is tied to observations within our lifetimes. A mountaineer who was active in the 1980s may be used to far more snow on the mountains than a mountaineer who is climbing in the 2010s. In turn, a person born in the late 21st century, may never see a glacier in places where they formerly existed.

Students trawled their family or community archives to understand how the natural environment has changed in their communities over time. Here are some of their submissions, in their own words:

  1. Isabella Leonhard: The Transformation of Glaciers in the Zillertaler Alps.
  2. Najat Al Fudhaili: The Disappearance of “Al Qayth” Season.
  3. Andreas Helgert: Changing Snow Levels.
  4. Peter Laschinger: Changing Snow Levels.
  5. Francesca Cusumano: Changing Fauna in Mount Etna.

Student Ally Award

Starting from 2020, students and teaching staff vote for the Student Ally Award which honours students who show commitment to the student community by helping their peers, organizing activities to facilitate studies, settling down in a new place, or dealing with a new academic systems.
The recipients of the award were:

Class of 2018-2020

1. Niklas Hohmann – read an interview with Niklas
2. Danijela Dimitrijevic – read an interview with Danijela

Class of 2019-2021

1. Tasnuva Ferdous Ming Khan – read an interview with Ming
2. Isabella Leonhard – read an interview with Isabella

Student Twitter Feed

This is Francesca Cusumano @Frances48873683, @paleo_FAU masters student and our #trilobitequeen. Here she is at Visby and today she found her first ever trilobite 🙂


This is pal student Johannes Eichel who declared he would rather leave his clothes behind in Gotland than his fossil finds if we run out of space in the van!

This is Carolin perfecting her Winkelmesser skills who I’m delighted to keep working with as part of our masters 👩🏻‍💻📈

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