Heather Stoll: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021
|Name||Prof. Dr. Heather Stoll|
Professur für Klimageologie
ETH Zürich, NO G 55
|Telephone||+41 44 632 22 09|
|651-4044-04L||Micropalaeontology and Molecular Palaeontology||3 credits||2G||H. Stoll, C. De Jonge, T. I. Eglinton, I. Hernández Almeida|
|Abstract||The course aims to provide an introduction to the key micropaleontological and molecular fossils from marine and terrestrial niches, and the use of these fossils for reconstructing environmental and evolutionary changes.|
|Objective||The course aims to provide an introduction to the key micropaleontological and molecular fossils from marine and terrestrial niches, and the use of these fossils for reconstructing environmental and evolutionary changes. |
The course will include laboratory exercises with microscopy training: identification of plantonic foraminifera and the application of transfer functions, identification of calcareous nannoliths and estimation of water column structure and productivity with n-ratio, identification of major calcareous nannofossils for Mesozoic-cenozoic biostratigraphy, Quaternary radiolarian assemblages and estimation of diversity indices.
The course will include laboratory exercises on molecular markers include study of chlorin extracts, alkenone and TEX86 distributions and temperature reconstruction, and terrestrial leaf wax characterization, using GC-FID, LC-MS, and spectrophotometry.
|Content||Micropaleontology and Molecular paleontology|
1. Introduction to the domains of life and molecular and mineral fossils. Genomic classifications of domains of life. Biosynthesis and molecular fossils and preservation/degradation. Biomineralization and mineral fossils and preservation/dissolution. Review of stable isotopes in biosynthesis.
2. The planktic niche – primary producers. Resources and challenges of primary production in the marine photic zone – light supply, nutrient supply, water column structure and niche partitioning. Ecological strategies and specialization, bloom succession, diversity and size gradients in the modern ocean. Introduction to principal mineralizing phytoplankton – diatoms, coccolithophores, dynoflagellates, as well as cyanobacteria. Molecular markers including alkenones, long-chain diols and sterols, IP25, pigments, diatom UV-absorbing compounds. Application of fossils and markers as environmental proxies. Long term evolutionary evidence for originations, radiations, and extinctions in microfossils and biomarkers; evolution of size trends in phytoplankton over Cenozoic, geochemical evidence for evolution of carbon concentrating mechanisms. Introduction to nannofossil biostratigraphy.
3. The planktic niche – heterotrophy from bacteria to zooplankton. Resources and challenges of planktic heterotrophy – food supply, oxygen availability, seasonal cycles, seasonal and vertical niche partitioning. Introduction to principal mineralizing zooplankton planktic foraminifera and radiolaria: ecological strategies and specialization, succession, diversity and size gradients in the modern ocean. Morphometry and adaptations for symbiont hosting. Molecular records such as isorenieratene and Crenoarcheota GDGT; the debate of TEX86 temperature production. Long term evolutionary evidence for originations, radiations, and extinctions in microfossils; evolution of size and form, basic biostratigraphy. Molecular evidence of evolution including diversification of sterol/sterine assemblages.
4. The benthic niche – continental margins. Resources and challenges of benthic heterotrophy – food supply, oxygen, turbulence and substrate. Principal mineralizing benthic organisms – benthic foraminifera and ostracods. Benthic habitat gradients (infaunal and epifaunal; shallow to deep margin. Microbial redox ladder in sediments. Molecular markers of methanogenesis and methanotrophy, Anamox markers, pristine/phytane redox indicator. Applications of benthic communities for sea level reconstructions. Major originations and extinctions.
5. The benthic niche in the abyssal ocean. Resources and challenges of deep benthic heterotrophy. Benthic foraminifera, major extinctions and turnover events. Relationship to deep oxygen level and productivity.
6. Terrestrial dry niches -soils and trees. Resources and challenges - impacts of temperature, humidity, CO2 and soil moisture on terrestrial vegetation and microbial reaction and turnover. Introduction to pollen and molecular markers for soil pH, humidity, leaf wax C3-C4 community composition and hydrology. Long term evolution of C4 pathway, markers for angiosperm and gymnosperm evolution.
7. Terrestrial aquatic environments – resources and challenges. Lake systems, seasonal mixing regimes, eutrophication, closed/open systems. Introduction to lacustrine diatoms, chironomids, testate amoeba. Molecular markers in lake/box environments including paleogenomics of communities.
|Lecture notes||A lab and lecture manual will be distributed at the start of the course and additional material will be available in the course Moodle|
|Literature||Key references from primary literature will be provided as pdf on the course moodle.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Timing: The course starts on February 19 and ends on May 28. Prerequisites: Recall and remember what you learned in introductory chemistry and biology|