Image gallery: Open Day 2017 – International Master of Geosciences: Palaeobiology

Open Day Master Palaeobiology
(Image: FAU/Christina Dworak)

FAU introduces a new international study programme

As of the winter semester 2017/18, FAU is offering two new international areas of specialisation within the Master of Geosciences: Palaeobiology and Earth Systems Research Lab. Both areas will be taught in English over four semesters. To learn more about the new specialisation areas, a group of potential students gathered in June 2017 at the premises of the Palaeoenvironment Professional Group at FAU´s GeoCentre Northern Bavaria (Fachgruppe Paläoumwelt am GeoZentrum Nordbayern).

Guided tour of the laboratories

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kießling, holder of the Chair for Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironment, firstly gave an overview of the Master programme, its structure, and most important content. Researchers then provided an insight into their latest scientific projects. A guided tour of the Institute´s laboratories rounded off the programme. The new Micro-Computer-Tomograph was especially impressive: It uses X-rays to scan structures up to a resolution of 0.4 micrometres to give a three-dimensional insight into fossils without destroying the precious material. Further, the Institute provides a Micromill drilling machine, which allows sample powders of only a few micrometres to be accessed, not to mention the ultramodern geochemistry laboratory. The comprehensive technical equipment is one of the reasons why the Master of Palaeobiology at FAU is so attractive. With the new areas of specialisation this research-oriented programme is one of a kind in Germany.

Picture Gallery: Open Day International Master of Geoscience: Palaeobiology


Practical orientation from day one

The Master programme consists of two main subjects: Palaeobiology and Earth Systems Research Lab. The former includes seminars on such topics as the microscopic analysis of limestone thin sections, biodiversity research, or the geobiology of reefs. In addition to research content, the latter subject also focuses on scientific communication. Here students are acquainted with the entire range of scientific work. A project has to be conceived, implemented and then drafted for a scientific journal. Finally, the results should be made available for the general public. A comprehensible and appealing press release is the basis for successful interaction with the media. “Public relations and dealing with the media is a rare addition to such a curriculum. This is a unique feature of FAU´s Palaeobiology,” Prof. Kießling explains. Of course, the students receive expert support by Institute researchers during the development of their projects – from the first semester onwards.

Your own research project within three semesters

From the Programme start, students work on their own projects, including a working hypothesis and a project proposal for the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). During the second semester, the students further expand their projects by carrying out research based on their hypothesis, and by the third semester their journalistic skills are finally in demand – when writing a press release. “The Palaeobiology Master provides the students with a comprehensive scientific training – in theory as well as in practice. Furthermore, through the Research Lab they are optimally prepared for a scientific career, but also for a job at a specialist publisher, for example,” says Prof. Kießling.

Further information on the international areas of specialisation Palaeobiology and Earth Systems Research Lab is available on the programme homepage. Prof. Dr. Kießling is available for questions.