Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kiessling holds the Chair of Paleobiology at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). He is interested in assessing Phanerozoic-scale patterns and events that arise in the fossil record such as reef crises and mass extinctions. For this purpose, he has devoted his time to developing and contributing to paleontological databases such as PaleoReefs and the Paleobiology Database. He is also a lead author for the forthcoming Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Nussaïbah Raja Schoob is a PhD student in paleontology at FAU and is advised by Wolfgang Kiessling. Her research focuses on using novel computational approaches to understand the impact of environmental change on reefs and reef-building organisms. Her toolbox includes statistical and machine learning methods, text mining and data visualisation techniques. When she’s not coding, you can probably find her reading a book, doing yoga or playing with her cats. She is your contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions and help.
Dr. Barbara Seuss did her diploma thesis on silicified, Jurassic gastropods from the Northern Calcareous Alps. She continued research and finished her PhD in 2012 studying various aspects of the Carboniferous Buckhorn Asphalt Quarry Lagerstätte in southern Oklahoma. Afterwards she received a grant by FAU to study bioerosion in Nautilus specimens before she continued research within her own DFG-funded project at FAU. Barbara Seuss is currently the coordinator of the Paleosynthesis project.
Our institution and research
The Division of Paleontology is embedded in the GeoZentrum Nordbayern, which is part of the Department of Geography and Geosciences at FAU. Focusing on marine systems and timescales spanning millions of years, we study the relationship between environmental change and evolution. This is achieved through the development and use of both existing and novel methods for geochemical measurements and modelling, lab work, microscopy and statistical analysis of large datasets. Over the past several years, we have made several ground-breaking discoveries. For example, recently we found that climate change vulnerabilities of marine taxa measured in physiological experiments can be used to predict extinction risk on geological time scales. Many of our big discoveries are based on the creation and mining of large databases, of which the Paleobiology Database is by far the most important.