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Related Programs

Biology, Geology

Palaeobiology

You can begin this program at an
off-campus site through a satellite campus or regional partner.

Discover unique traces of life from millions of years ago. Design and plan a Fossil Gallery in a museum space. Explore some of the most remote and extraordinary parts of the world. Trace the evolution of species from the depths of geologic time.


Program Options

Bachelor of Science - Palaeobiology

  • B.Sc. Four-year
  • B.Sc. Honours

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

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What is Palaeobiology?

Palaeobiology focuses on the fossil record of ancient organisms and their living descendants. Palaeobiology analyses the distribution and function of fossil animals and plants, reconstructing their evolutionary paths. The Palaeobiology program offers courses in human, plant and animal diversity, morphology and history.

A large selection of electives are available including physical anthropology, archaeology, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, botany, sedimentology and palaeontology. This program is unique, broad-based and diverse, making it ideal for students whose interest in nature extends beyond the present to include the dimension of geologic time.

Palaeobiology: Is it for you?

  • The Palaeobiology program offers a well-rounded curriculum that delivers solid classroom instruction combined with intensive tutorials.
  • Small class sizes create a quality learning environment for students that maximizes interaction with professors as well as between peers.
  • Many professors are professional researchers in the field and are mentors to students.
  • The U of S Palaeobiology program is unique in Canada, combining courses from Anthropology & Archaeology, Biology and Geological Sciences, preparing students for exciting work in this interdisciplinary field.

Sample Classes

  • GEOL 247: Palaeontology
    Ancient life on earth will be explored via the principles and concepts of invertebrate paleontology, paleoecology, paleobiology and evolution. The basic morphology and systematics of the main fossil invertebrate groups will be covered in the laboratory sessions, when fossil specimens will be studied.
  • BIOL 323: Plant Systematics and Evolution
    Introduces vascular plant diversity. Will include basic principles of plant systematics (methods of classification, description, nomenclature and taxonomic keys), practical experience with the identification of vascular plants, and tempos and patterns of plant speciation and evolution.
  • GEOL 477: Ichnology Animal Substrate Interactions in the Stratigraphic Record
    Ichnology is the study of biogenic structures and animal-substrate relations. Biogenic structures comprise burrows, trails, trackways and borings. They record the behavior of the tracemakers in response to the prevailing environmental conditions and therefore they supply valuable information in paleoecology, paleobiology, facies analysis, and sequence stratigraphy

Career Opportunities

  • Glaciologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Paleontologist
  • Paleobiologist
  • Conservationist
  • Parks and Recreation Officer
  • Environmental Education and Communication Specialist
  • Museum Curator

Skill Sets Gained

  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data
  • Communications skills: written and oral
  • Computer skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Honesty, integrity, and ethical standards
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Laboratory skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Conducting field research
  • Teamwork/Interpersonal skills

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