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PhD: Palaeobiology of Ediacaran frondose taxa of Newfoundland and England

Project Title

Palaeobiology of Ediacaran frondose taxa of Newfoundland and England


Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland, Canada

Supervisors and Institutions

Prof. Duncan Mcilroy (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland), Dr. Rod Taylor (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland)

Funding Status

Funding is in place for this project

Project Description

The Memorial University Palaeobiology Research Group are seeking high quality applications for a doctoral student position to study exceptionally preserved Ediacaran body fossils from the famous fossiliferous Mistaken Point assemblages and others on the Bonavista Peninsula of eastern Newfoundland.
The research will involve the casting, photography and detailed investigation of the morphology of Culmofrons. The genus has been the subject of controversy since its synonymization with Beothukis. Our research at Memorial University has statistically demonstrated that the two taxa are morphologically distinct, requiring a full reassessment of the type material (from the iconic Mistaken Point succession) and the new, exceptionally preserved material from near Bonavista (Liu et al. 2016).

The successful student will be responsible for diagnosing and re-describing the genus Culmofrons, determining its mode of life, its taphonomy, and will also be encouraged to assess its relationship to other rangeomorph taxa from equivalent strata, including Beothukis, Bradgatia, and Primocandelabrum. This work will lead to an improved understanding of the palaeobiology of the enigmatic Rangeomorpha, and their significance to the evolution of the Animalia. Fieldwork will mainly be in Newfoundland, with additional trips to the UK and to the Royal Ontario Museum to study accessioned material from Newfoundland and elsewhere in Canada.

The stipend will be approximately $20,000 CAD before teaching assistantships. More than one studentship may be funded.

Contact Name

Duncan McIlroy

Contact Email

Closing Date

Monday, April 15, 2019

Expiry Date

Sunday, December 1, 2019
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