Scheda insegnamento

Anno Accademico 2018/2019

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

Under the threat of sea-level rise and global warming, data preserved within the recent sedimentary record are playing an increasingly important role in conservation biology practice and policy. The aim of this course is to promote understanding of how past patterns of variability can aid the development of more effective biodiversity conservation strategies and ecosystem management in the face of climate change. In this course, we will introduce elements of paleoecology, stratigraphy and paleoclimatology in order to analyze how the Quaternary record can be used to understand the ecological and environmental responses to climate changes. This course will also highlight the utility of fossils in providing a reference baseline for evaluating severity and significance of the anthropogenic impact on present-day ecosystems and their biodiversity. Methods and best practices to integrate paleontological, ecological and sedimentological data for a multidimensional view of past ecosystems are presented and discussed. Finally, the course is integrated by laboratory training on the field and will be offered an opportunity to analyze environmental dynamics in response to past climatic-eustatic perturbations directly on outcrops and/or cores.


Climate change concept; Milankovitch and sub-Milankovitch cycles; Quaternary climate cyclicity and Marine Isotope Stages; Marine palaeoecology; Basic concepts of sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy; Physical processes and ecosystems in coastal and marine environments; Facies analysis as a tool to study past environments; Major proxies for reconstructing bio-sedimentary dynamics in the Quaternary record; Response of nearshore benthic ecosystems and depositional environments to Quaternary climate changes: case studies; Introduction to bivariate and ordinations techniques used in natural sciences.


Lecture notes and bibliographic material will be provided during the course.

Metodi didattici

Lectures; Laboratory exercises and field trips.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

The exam is based upon a multiple-choice/open answer written test. Time: 120 minutes

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Video projector; PC; blackboard; Microscope; Fossil collection; demonstration of the use of instruments (in the lab and on the field).

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Daniele Scarponi

Consulta il sito web di Veronica Rossi