Tag Archives: Paleobiology

Major transitions in human evolution – Advanced Seminar in Palaeobiology

We are pleased to announce:

Major transitions in human evolution – Advanced Seminar in Palaeobiology (54261)
Dates: 4.11.–16.12.
Time: Fridays 12.15-13.45 p.m.
Building/room: Physicum, D112,  Kumpula Campus Number of places: max. 30
Credits: 2-4

This seminar series will focus on the issues concerning human evolution addressed in recently published special paper compilation (http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/1698) and other relevant papers (including: http://www.isita-org.com/jass/Contents/ContentsVol94.htm):

Middle Pliocene hominin diversity – An earlier origin for stone tool making: implications for cognitive evolution and the transition to Homo – Morphological variation in Homo erectus and the origins of developmental plasticity – The evolution of body size and shape in the human career – The place of Homo floresiensis in human evolution – Filling the gap: Human cranial remains from Gombore II and the origin of Homo heidelbergensis – The origin and evolution of Homo sapiens – The transition to foraging for dense and predictable resources and its impact on the evolution of modern humans

You can get credit points for each of the following: Seminar presentation (compulsory, 2 credit points); Active participation in 75% of the classes verified by a personal seminar diary (1 credit point); writing an essay (1 credit point). The seminar thus yields a total of 2-4 credit points.

Please sign up for the course at weboodi (course code: 54261).

Laura Säilä & Mikael Fortelius

New and exciting course: Introduction to Statistical Paleobiology

Introduction to Statistical Paleobiology

Docent Lee Hsiang Liow, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, University of Oslo

This master-level course is given by remote video except for the introductory and concluding lectures, for which Docent Liow will be physically present (in class room C108 in the Department of Geosciences and Geography, Physicum, Kumpula campus). The video lectures will be given in the video conference classroom Exactum A114.

The maximum attendance is 20. Please use Web Oodi to enroll.

Course outline:

Introductory Lecture (Sep 4 2013)
Introduce statistical paleobiology
Aims of course
Outline of lectures and assignments and introduction to first assignment


‐questions we ask in paleobiology
‐ the interconnectivity among biology, paleontology, geology and climate science
‐history of “quantitative paleobiology”
‐important figures
‐why quantification is important
‐what are models and why there are differences between mathematical and statistical models
‐the importance of models (and comparison to hypothesis testing)
‐why bother with confidence intervals (an illustration)

Lecture 1 (9 Sep Oslo)

Estimating extinction‐ singe taxa

Lecture 2 (11 Sep Oslo)

Estimating extinction‐ rates and “events”

Lecture 3 (16 Sep Oslo)

Phenotypic evolution – single lineages

Lecture 4 (18 Sep Oslo)

Phenotypic evolution – clades
Other possibilities: diversification (comparing paleo and phylo)
More CMR (a bit in Lecture 2)

Conclusion Lecture (2 Oct Helsinki)

Writing assignment
Writing a Wikipedia entry for a selected narrow paleobiology theme (non quantitative)

Each lecture will have associated R exercises