Saturday, 30th of November 2019 (10:45-11:00) at the international symposium on Chalk & Flint
Maastricht University shares its name with the last geological age of the Cretaceous time period, the Maastrichtian, which was defined based on the rock sequence preserved in the Sint-Pietersberg region. With the recent establishment of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the appointment of two chairs in the field of vertebrate paleontology, and the covenant between the Maastricht Science Programme and the Natural History Museum of Maastricht, the scientific study of paleontology has entered a new stage at one of the youngest universities in the Netherlands. New courses in paleontology have been added to the curriculum: a course focusing on functional morphology and major evolutionary transformations in the vertebrate lineage, and a course on hominin paleoecology and evolution. These courses are embedded in a growing curriculum in evolutionary biology and ecology. In close collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Maastricht, undergraduate student research projects have been started on Maastrichtian molluscs and vertebrate remains of the South Limburg chalk deposits. In addition to a strong local research component, existing research programmes of the new paleontology chairs, on the evolution of archosaurs, the paleobiology of the dodo, and the evolution of Homo erectus and other hominins, have also been brought to Maastricht.
In this presentation, Leon will discuss some of the development initiatives and goals of the paleontology and evolutionary biology cluster at Maastricht University, in both research and education.