Staff and Postgraduate Students
Miss Katie Strang
The taphonomy of the Cambrian Explosion in North Greenland
My general field of interest lies in the field of Palaeontology. I have a degree in Earth Sciences (BSc hons) and a Masters in Evolutionary Biology.
More specifically my research looks at the event known as 'The Cambrian Explosion'. The Cambrian Explosion represents a significant and important interval in Earth’s history. It marks an increase in the diversification of complex animal body plans and the expansion of marine ecosystems. The Cambrian fossil record is incredibly biased towards the preservation of shelly (biomineralised) skeletons, however it is also home to some areas of exceptional soft-bodied preservation, such as the Burgess Shale, Chengjiang and Sirius Passet. There is still a poor understanding of the different taphonomic pathways leading to these spectacular Lagerstätten. The role of preservation is a key factor in mediating diversity and therefore critical in understanding the processes responsible for the Cambrian Explosion.
My research involves using a variety of imaging techniques (such as SEM and EDAX) to look at the micro scale structures and relationships between the chemical films present in the Sirius Passet, using this data to understand the different taphonomic pathways occuring at this time.
- McGowan, A.J. & Strang, K. (2012). Ammonoids and Mash-ups: The Potential of Geobrowsers to Enhance Public Awareness of Geodiversity Sites and Objects in Their Spatial Context. Scottish Geographical Journal 128(3-4): 304-311.