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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

1st Edition

Palaeontology and the Sixth Extinction

September 26th-29th, 2017, Barcelona (Spain)

Palaeontology and Archaeology

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Palaeontology and the Sixth Extinction

In this course participants will:

  1. Obtain the most relevant pieces of knowledge of palaeontology in terms of their own area of expertise.
  2. Understand the main features of the discipline and its relationships with other realms of knowledge, especially Geology.
  3. Understand and value the biological diversity as part of the evolution of the Earth and take the responsibility consequential of our success as a species.
  4. Appraise the diversity and size of the species composing the South American megafauna.
  5. Understand the relationship between the extinction of that megafauna and the human presence in the Americas.
  6. Develop skills related with rigour, educated scepticism and creativity.


Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)

C/ de l’Escola Industrial, 23
08201 Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain)

How to get there




24 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 1 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 20 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.


Richard Fariña instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Richard Fariña
Universidad de la República


Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano coordinator at Transmitting Science

Dr. Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano
Transmitting Science

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno instructor at Transmitting Science

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science


Tuesday, September 26th, 2017.

  • Palaeontology and other sciences. Geology. Stratigraphy or how to comprehend the geological time.
  • Definition of fossil. Fossilisation processes and types of fossils.
  • The origin of the solar system and of the Earth. Origin of life. Precambrian fossils.
  • Early evolution of life. Stromatoliths. Conditions for life and changes in the atmosphere. Eukaryotes. Metazoans.

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017.

  • The Cambrian explosion and the Ordovician diversification. Extinctions, patterns and processes. Mass extinction. The Permian crisis. The K-T and the importance of the extraterrestrial impacts.
  • Conceptual instruments. Palaeoecology: Sedimentary environments. Ichnofossils and ichnofacies: Behaviour right there. Non-actualistic interactions. Biomechanics: Newton helping Darwin. Body size and its importance in biology and palaeontology.
  • Taphonomy: Biostratinomy, quantitative approaches and the inference of Earth processes on life.

Thursday, September 28th, 2017.

  • Palaeogeography and palaeoclimatology. Plate tectonics. Vicariance. Great American Biotic Interchange. Physical and biological evidence of past climates. History of Earth’s climates.
  • The land of mammals: The faunas of northern and southern continents. Primates.
  • Transition from water to land in various groups (plants, arthropods, vertebrates). Terrestrial diversity in the Mesozoic: The realm of the giants. Cenozoic.

Friday, September 29th, 2017.

  • Pleistocene extinction. The human journey from its African origin to all the emerged land, the oceans and outer space.
  • The colonisation of the Americas. South American megafauna, the palaeocological context of human arrival. The giants will not inherit the Earth. Selected sites with human-megafauna interaction: The communicating vessels of the problems of chronology and varied evidence.


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until May 31st, 2017):
  • 390
  • Regular (after May 31st, 2017):
  • 540
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches.
    (VAT included)

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact the course coordinators).


The course will take place in the city of Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain). Take a look at the venue.

You may stay in Barcelona city or Sabadell. You will find information about Hotels and Hostel in Sabadell here. It takes about 45 minutes by public transport to arrive to Sabadell from the centre of Barcelona city. The place of the course is about 15 minutes walking from the train stop.


Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

Unfortunately there are no scholarships available for this course. However a 20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Organizations with discount). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Spanish unemployed scientists, as well as Spanish PhD students without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinators. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.

Discounts are not cumulative.


Course Schedule
Tuesday, September 26th through Friday, September 29th, 20179:30 to 13:00 Lessons.
13:00 to 14:30 Lunch.
14:30 to 17:00 Lessons.

There will be two coffee breaks each day, halfway through each lesson session.

The schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.


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