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SLE395 - Palaeobiology

Unit details


2016 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)


Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:


Previously coded as:


Unit chair:

Mark Warne


One of SLE102, SLE136, SLE103 or plus two level 2 units



Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: 1 x 2 hour class per week, 6 x 3 hour practicals per trimester, 1 x half day field trip per trimester (weather dependant). 

Cloud (online): Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin. Students are also expected to attend 15 hours of intensive classes and practicals at the Burwood (Melbourne) campus.


This unit provides students with an opportunity to study deep-time aspects of the biological and environmental sciences.  Class include:

  1. Fossils of the terrestrial realm and their environments of preservation;
  2. Fossils of the marine realm and their environments of preservation;
  3. relative and absolute dating of fossils;
  4. biological evolution and the fossil record, including discussions on radiation, convergence, rates of extinction and evolutionary trends;
  5. Precambrian, Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic life;
  6. Quaternary physical evolution of the earth and associated anthropological change;
  7. Microfossils as proxies of past oceanographic and climate change.  Practical work will involve 2 projects. The first project will involve the description and biostratigraphical or palaeoecological evaluation of invertebrate fossils from a limestone, sandstone or mudstone exposure in SE Australia.  The second project will involve the use of invertebrate microfossils or macrofossils as proxies of past environmental change within a human occupation historical timescale. This project will involve the examination of fossils from sediment cores gathered within a modern aquatic setting. 

This unit will also include a half day field trip (or online virtual field tour), or tour of museum fossil preparatory laboratories.


Practical report 1 40%, practical report 2 40%, class test 20%

Unit Fee Information

All Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), fee paying undergraduate and pre-2016 commencing students

Unit fee information available soon

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