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GEOL463 Advanced Topics in Paleobiology and Evolution

Fossils and the origins of the New Zealand biota; macroevolution, past and present; case studies in paleobiology.

Paper title Advanced Topics in Paleobiology and Evolution
Paper code GEOL463
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.0833
Points 10 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $704.22
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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GEOL 427

Teaching staff

To be confirmed.

Paper Structure
  • Review: fossils and macroevolution
  • Review: phylogeny as a framework
  • Geological context of New Zealand fossils - Zealandia as a Rosetta Stone?
  • New Zealand Holocene biotas
  • Holocene birds
  • Cenozoic plant successions
  • Cenozoic lakes and their exceptional biotas
  • Gondwanan origins for the biota of Zealandia
  • Physical drivers of marine vertebrate evolution
  • Marine tetrapods - return to the water
  • Marine tetrapods - case studies
  • Mass extinctions
  • Cretaceous ecosystems

Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Materials for this paper will be peer-reviewed journal articles and ebooks.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

At completion of GEOL 463, students should have demonstrated a(n):

  • Comprehensive understanding of the concepts and modern applications of evolution, particularly those relating to paleobiology and the fossil record, macroevolution, extinction, phylogenetics, biogeography, and evolution of the New Zealand biota (Scholarship, Research, and Lifelong learning)
  • Commitment to the fundamental importance of the historical acquisition and development of knowledge and understanding in paleobiology and evolution (Scholarship, Environmental literacy)
  • Commitment to intellectual openness and curiosity and awareness of the limits of current knowledge and of the interdisciplinary links in paleobiology and evolution (Interdisciplinary perspective, Self-motivation)
  • Enhanced ability to communicate information, arguments and analyses effectively, both orally and in writing (Communication, Teamwork)
  • Enhanced ability to analyse issues logically, to challenge conventional assumptions, to consider different options and viewpoints, to make informed decisions and to act with flexibility, adaptability and creativity (Critical thinking, Research)

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system