Palaeontology and Palaeoecology

The palaeontology group mainly deals of Neogene-Quaternary Foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils, considering both the systematic and the stratigraphic, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic applications. The studies were developed through the following lines of research:
- Neogene high resolution calcareous plankton stratigraphy, integrating data with magnetostratigraphy and isotopic stratigraphy both from Mediterranean and extramediterranean areas, in order to resolve bio-chronostratigraphic problems;
- Cyclostratigraphy / astrochronology of Neogene-Quaternary pelagic deposits, integrating quantitative calcareous plankton data to those derived from physic-chemical analysis (stable isotopes, magnetic properties, geochemical properties, etc.);
- Reconstruction of the Neogene climate of Mediterranean and oceanic areas using calcareus plankton quantitative data;
- biostratigraphy and bio-geochemistry of pelagic successions of sub-Antarctic areas and applications aimed to the middle Miocene reconstruction of climate evolution and dynamics of the ice sheet. Particular attention is paid to investigate the Mg / Ca ratio in the planktonic foraminiferal tests (palaeothermometer of the ocean water surface) measured by mass spectroscope analysis, even with laser ablation techniques;
- reconstruction of depositional environments, palaeogeography and tectonic evolution of the Neogene - Quaternary of the eastern edge of the Northern Apennines and the western-central Corsica;
- Sedimentary evolution and palaeogeography of the Oligocene - Quaternary of the Maltese Archipelago, Tremiti islands and the Salento Peninsula, also realizing geological mapping;
- High resolution stratigraphy of the Mediterranean Messinian successions, both of evaporitic marine and fluvial-lacustrine environment, and correlations with oceanic sequences;
- High resolution stratigraphy of the Upper Pleistocene - Holocene succession of deep areas of the Sardinia Channel;
- Environmental micropaleontology. Research carried out on actual and fossils benthic foraminifera, focused on the recognition of anomalies induced by stressing ecological conditions;
- Micropaleontology applied to archaeology. Research developed through the recognition of fossil assemblages in archaeological remains (mainly manufactures), principally aimed to identify potential source areas of the raw materials.

  • Mazzei Roberto (Adjunt professor)