Photo by Sebastian Teichert

Research at the Chair of Paleontology

Our Science

Studying in Erlangen has profoundly changed my view of paleontology as a discipline, introducing me to an array of new ideas. The Paleontology department at Erlangen allows one to concentrate in depth in computational or lab-based research or maintains a good balance of both throughout the two years. With a broad range of exciting research topics to choose from and a positive, strong support network, the department provides a fascinating, challenging and stimulating course. Nussaibah Begum Raja Schoob

The ecology of global change in space and time

(W. Kiessling, S. Teichert, A. Kocsis, D. Dimitrijevic, E. Dunne)

  • Biodiversity dynamics and global-scale changes of the Earth System
  • The study of mass extinction events and climate change
  • Integration of processes at multiple time scales: from deep-time to Recent

img Extinction rate of marine organisms through the Phanerozoic. (Image by W. Kiessling and A. Kocsis)

Carbonate systems and sedimentology

(A. Munnecke, W. Kiessling, S. Teichert, D. Dimitrijevic)

  • Carbonate rocks as archives of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimate change
  • The paleoecology of reef systems
  • Reconstruction of paleoenvironments

img Centimeter scale fragments of various organisms. (Photo by Axel Munnecke)


(R. Warnock, L. Mulvey)

  • Macroevolution and the relative contributions of biotic interactions (e.g., symbiosis, parasitism) and abiotic factors (e.g., climate) in driving macroevolutionary patterns
  • Mechanistic models of phylogeny

img Trees inferred for a dataset of ceteacen fossil occurrences (Figure 4. from Barido-Sottani et al. 2019)

Vertebrate paleobiology

(E. Dunne)

  • Paleoecology and paleobiogeography of Mesozoic vertebrates (e.g. dinosaurs)

img Bootstrap analyses of phylogenetic biogeographic connectednes (Figure 4. from Dunne et al. 2018)

Sustainable and equitable scientific practice

(A. Kocsis, E. Dunne, W. Kiessling, R. Warnock)

  • Development and contribution to scientific software, such R packages
  • Contributing to global-scale datasets, some which are maintained by us
  • Ethics and economy of fossil sampling and collection

img Fossil localities sampled in each country (Figure 1. from Raja et al. 2021)

Sedimentary Geochemistry in Earth System Research

(M. Joachimski)

  • Oxygen isotope geochemistry for paleotemperature estimates
  • Geochemical changes during biotic crises

img The Permian-Triassic atmospheric CO2 record (Figure 1. from Joachimski et al. 2022)

Naturally, our output is much more diverse and these are just the main themes that we follow in our research. You can find out more about research at the Paleontology here.

Program outlines ›