• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Jochen Brocks
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an overview of the fossil record of use to  palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of  life on Earth, the geochemical nature of fossils, and the role they play in  allowing us to trace the evolution of the planet, and in particular the oceanic  realm. This course is for students of geology, biology, archaeology, and those  interested in environmental issues and past environments, including climate  change.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates (EMSC2019)  but will be assessed separately and to an advanced level of knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of life on Earth and outline and analyse how organisms contributed to the changes that occurred on land and in the oceans. 
  2. Describe and differentiate  between the different extinct fossil groups including contrasting their form and function.
  3. Recognise and explain the changes and diversity of the fossil record in the oceans through time.

Other Information

Field Trip: There may be a 2 day field trip to the South Coast.

If there is a fieldtrip students will be required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the field trip. The cost for the trip in 2013 was $110. Payments may be made at the Science Cashier, Bldg 42 or online at ScienceShop http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/

Indicative Assessment

A combination of theory and practical examinations, plus one oral and written presentation on a selected fossil and one field report.

A more advanced level of knowledge will be expected for this graduate course compared to the undergraduate level course (EMSC2019)

Theory exam (40%, LO 1-3)

Practical examinations (30%, LO 1-3)

An oral and a written presentation on a selected fossil (15%, LO 2)

Field trip assignment (15%, LO 2 and 3)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A maximum of 39 hours of lectures/tutorials and 26 hours of laboratories plus a field excursion

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level EMSC or BIOL courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed EMSC2019 or GEOL2019.

Prescribed Texts


Senden, Paul,  Nudds, John (2012)
Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems (Acedemic Press) 2nd edition,

Optional advanced reading:

Clarkson, E. N. K. (1998)  Invertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution. Chapman and Hall, 4th ed.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2946
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2916
2008 $2916
2007 $2520
2006 $2520
2005 $2520
2004 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3606
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7441 21 Jul 2014 08 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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