Micropalaeontology deals with the studies of morphology, systematics, evolution and distribution of fossil unicellular organisms. Neoproterozoic and Cambrian prokaryotes and protoctists are investigated to elucidate their palaeobiology, origins and biochronology as a tool to increase our understanding of the early evolution of life and to solve certain biological and geological problems. The origin of life on Earth is the basis for search for life in the Universe and the science of astrobiology.
Current research projects:
- Global biodiversity trends of the terminal Proterozoic-Cambrian prokaryotes and protoctists (unicellular eukaryotes) in the context of secular biotic evolution and environmental changes.
- The role of phytosynthetic microbiota (acritarchs and cyanobacteria) in the development of oxygenic environments and its impact on marine trophic web and the process of early metazoan diversification.
- Search for biological affinities and phylogentic relationships of the Proterozoic and Cambrian acritarchs by phenetic morphological, ultrastructural and geochemical studies. Joint with PhD project by Heda Agić.
- Radiations, palaeobiology and biochronology of the Ediacaran acritarchs in Australia and Siberia and the survival/recovery strategies of early phytoplankton in the post-glacial Earth conditions (Slush-ball Earth). Collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Grey, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Perth, and Konstantin E. Nagovitsin, Novosibirsk.
- Palaeobiology and biostratigraphy of acritarchs from the Proterozoic-Cambrian successions in China. Collaboration with Prof. Yin Leiming, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing.
- Cambrian biostratigraphy with the aim of establishing Global Stratotype Section and Point for Stages and Series of the Cambrian System, as a part of the long term collaboration with the International Subcommission on Cambrian Stratigraphy (Vice-Chairperson 2003-2011), Cambrian Stage Subdivision Working Group.
- Ultrastructure and biogeochemistry of the organically preserved Ediacaran meazoan Sabellidites. Collaboration with Frances Westall and Frédéric Foucher, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaiure CNRS, Orléans, France.
- I.U.G.S., IGCP Project 493: Rise and Fall of Ediacaran Biota.
- I.U.G.S., IGCP Project 512: Neoproterozoic Ice Ages.
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