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 Palaeontology at UQ

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Postgraduate Projects

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES covering many aspects of evolution and palaeontology (the study of ancient life) are offered in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences.

Steve and Stewart
Dr Steve Salisbury with Honours student Stewart Macdonald at the 2003 Elliot dig. Photo: Chris Stacey, The University of Queensland.

Level 2 courses

BIOL2201 Evolution.
We are the way we are because of evolution – understand the issues of evolution and why we accept that evolution accounts for the diversity of life on earth. Learn how the principles of evolution and technology are combined and applied in fields such as agriculture and medicine. Topics include: Evolving molecules as the agents of change; Major patterns in the evolution of life – genomes to organisms; Genetic variation, the raw material of evolution; The role of chance in evolution; Speciation and the origins of biodiversity; Human evolution – history and current issues

BIOL2204 Zoology.
Zoology examines the evolution and diversity of animal life, including invertebrates and vertebrates from marine, freshwater, terrestrial, tropical, temperate and polar environments. The course will cover the development, structure, physiology, and behaviour of animals from throughout the world, with a focus on Australian animals.Topics include: Animal phylogenetics, evolutionary history and biogeography; Reproduction and development; Body support and locomotion; Feeding and digestion; Respiration and circulation; Senses and behaviour

ERTH2002 Palaeobiology. This course covers palaeobiology and the nature and development of animal and plant life on Earth as preserved in the rocks of the Earth's crust. Emphasis will be placed on the applications of palaeobiology in the earth sciences, particularly in stratigraphy and palaeoecology, and also in the biological sciences. The following are among the broad topics to be covered: inception and evolutionary development of animal and plant life through geological time; evolution, including major biotic crises and evolutionary bursts, and; applications of fossils in biostratigraphy, palaeobiogeography, and palaeoecology.

BIOL2001 Australia's Terrestrial Environment. Provides an appreciation of the plants, animals & ecological communities that comprise Australia's terrestrial ecosystems, major biogeographic events that have shaped these ecosystems & how & why they are unique.  The course is available to all students at UQ who are not enrolled in BACS, EPSA or NRAVS.

Level 3 courses

BIOL3212 Advanced Evolutionary Biology. This course considers various evolutionary explanations for biological phenomena. Unifying theme is adaptation and the origin of species, with special emphasis on development processes, natural and sexual selection, molecular evolution and symbiotic interactions. Practical focus on analysis and synthesis of the primary literature as a basis for the identification of significant research questions.

BIOL3221 Advanced Topics in Zoology. The course will examine modern scientific approaches in zoology including the integration of laboratory investigations with field based studies & the use of molecular, physiological & ecological techniques. Current & topical issues in zoology will be explored & students will learn to utilise a range of zoological resources to design experiments, problem solve & conduct research. This course currently includes a module on advanced palaeobiology.

Undergraduate Project Courses
At Level 3 there are many opportunities for students to research a particular topic of interest. Some students participating in these courses use them as an introduction to later postgraduate programs. They are an opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with a supervisor of your choice. For this reason you must consult the prospective supervisor before enrolling and submit a Project Course Application to the Help Desk. If you are interested in doing a undergraduate project course in palaetonology, please visit the following page or contact Dr Steve Salisbury.

POSTGRADUATE PROJECTS in Vertebrate Palaeontology and Biomechanics