Supervisors and Institutions
Marine meiofauna is ubiquitous in most benthic environments today and hold an important role in nutrient circulation in the oceans, most likely through the degradation of organic matter. Meiofaunal representatives can be found from most major taxonomical clades, but our knowledge of existing faunas is poor. The evolutionary history of marine meiofauna and fossil meiofauna is, however, virtually unknown.
The last decade has seen a revolutionary development in imaging techniques, where we today can study previously hidden fossil records and thus uncover entirely new sources of evolutionary data, allowing us to explore geological deposits for the potential presence of fossil meiofauna. The position aims at investigating especially drill core material from Lower Palaeozoic deposits of Baltoscandia for the presence of meiofauna. Preliminary studies using MicroCT have shown the existence of a potential fossil marine meiofauna in the Upper Ordovician. This project will be a collaboration between UiT and the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University. Possible research focuses include, but are not restricted to, faunal composition, diversity, evolutionary studies, environmental and methodological/technological questions, as well as reconstructions of past ecosystems.