Leçon d’habilitation au titre de privat-docent de la Faculté des géosciences et de l’environnement du Dr Laszlo Kocsis, de l’Institut des dynamiques de la surface terrestre
Ecology is the study of interactions between the physical environment and living organisms. In the case of palaeoecologic studies, fossils are often studied for in-vivo chemical and/or isotopic compositions to help assessing palaeoenvironmental conditions (e.g., temperature, salinity) and their variations through time, which in turn can be used for correlation purposes of sedimentary successions (chemostratigraphy). In addition, the remains of the organisms can also record information about the depositional settings and related conditions (e.g., redox) through incorporation and/or loss of certain trace elements, or via modification/replacement of the original biominerals during diagenesis.
As part of my research, I combine palaeontology and geochemistry to gain knowledge about ancient environmental conditions (e.g., climate, oceanography, habitat) via the use of stable and radiogenic isotope, as well as trace element compositions of well-preserved fossils. Studies also include habitat conditions of modern organisms, using similar analytical methods. During the presentation, after a brief introduction of the applied proxies (e.g., δ18O, δ13C, 87Sr/86Sr, rare earth elements), case studies from marine and terrestrial settings will be discussed and different environmental scenarios will be explained. As an outlook for future research, exciting new developments in this research domain will be touched upon (e.g., mineral bond δ15N, δ66Zn, δ44/42Ca).