Palaeontology
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Molecular Geo- and Palaeobiology

Geobiology investigates the present and past interactions between geo- and biosphere and the evolution of organisms – processes which have shaped the Earth and its biodiversity. Molecular Paleobiology studies the rates and patterns of evolution, integrating data from the living organisms and the fossil record, primarily using new tools of molecular biology. Reconciling paleontological and molecular evidence for a better understanding of the temporal succession of cladogenetic events and the evolution of key traits holds great promise to further our understanding of the interaction of the Geo- and Biosphere through Earth history, especially for taxa with a fragmentary fossil record and uncertain classification.

Key publications

Jackson, D.J., Macis, L., Reitner, J., Degnan, B.M., Wörheide, G., 2007. Sponge Paleogenomics Reveals an Ancient Role for Carbonic Anhydrase in Skeletogenesis. Science 316 (5833), 1893–1895.

Jackson, D.J., McDougall, C., Green, K., Simpson, F., Wörheide, G., Degnan, B.M., 2006. A rapidly evolving secretome builds and patterns a sea shell. BMC Biology 4, 40.

Larroux, C., Fahey, B., Liubicich, D., Hinman, V.F., Gauthier, M., Gongora, M., Green, K., Wörheide, G., Leys, S.P., Degnan, B.M., 2006. Developmental expression of transcription factor genes in a demosponge: insights into the origin of metazoan multicellularity. Evolution & Development 8 (2), 150–173.

Wörheide, G., 2008. A hypercalcified sponge with soft relatives: Vaceletia is a keratose demosponge. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47, 433–438.

For more information see: www.mol-palaeo.de