GEOG0122 Biological Indicators of Environmental Change

Academic Year

Jones V, Holmes, Thornalley, Tzedakis, Sayer


Programme Year Running

Programme Term Running

Available to Affiliate Students

Available to External Students

Brief Course Description
A hands on, microscope-based course, which introduces students to biological remains that we find in sediments. Students will learn how to identify a range of fossils and their uses in inferring past environments

Course Aims
- to introduce students to the range of biological indicators used for determining environmental change
- to provide students with practical skills in the identification of biological indicators of environmental change

Course Content
The course aims to cover the variety of biological indicators used in both present-day aquatic ecosystem monitoring and in assessing past conditions using a palaeoecological approach.

A selection from the following biological indicators are covered:
- diatoms
- pollen
- plant macrofossils
- chironomids
- ostracods
- foraminifera

Method of Teaching / Format
The course is based upon a 5 hr combined lecture and practical class which enables us to integrate the lectures and the practicals

Form of Assessment
Laboratory book from weekly (10) practical exercises (100%)

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course students should:
- understand how to classify and identify a range of biological materials.
- have an experience of a range of microscopical techniques
- have an understanding of how biological proxies are used for aquatic monitoring and environmental reconstruction
- appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of different biological indicators of environmental change

Last Updated: Tue 26 Feb 2019