MSci Research – Palaeoecology through time

Vertebrate palaeoecology in offshore shelf sea environments through time; an investigation of the Blue Lias and Oxford Clay.

In the final year of my undergraduate masters course I had to undertake and Independent Research Project – that is to say a programme of research planned, conducted and written up solely by me, culminating in an 8000-10000 word research report. I knew as soon as I started thinking about it that I wanted to do something in the vertebrate palaeontology line, so I went to find the then only vertebrate palaeontologist at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) to see what could be done…

Dr. Trueman (for that was his name) had a think and later suggested a topic for me to investigate… and I wrote about how exciting the whole endeavour would be (somewhat naiavely as it turned out) on this blog.

After a not insignificant amount of reading around the topic, discussing the many, many biases, attempting (without much success) to gain access to some of the pertinent museum collections around the country, and finding out that A-Level Geography and GCSE Biology didn’t help much in ecological research… The project was inevitably whittled down massively. In its final form it encompasses just the Jurassic period and only a small number of collections, some of which only partially collected thanks to a lack of measurements in the literature.

The final documents can be found below, published under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence in portable document format (.pdf).

Popular Science Article Reporting the Project

Advanced Independent Research Project Report

Geology Style Article (Report Abstract) Only

CC BY-NC-ND Licenced