The Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology and Marine Geosciences of the Faculty of Geology, University of Barcelona, was established in 1998 as a result of the division of the Department of Dynamic Geology, Geophysics and Palaeontology (1987-98), with Dr. Mariano Marzo as its first director (1998-2005).
The origins of our Department are in the old Chair of Paleontology, held by Dr. Josep Ramon Bataller since 1949, and in the subsequent creation, in 1965 and 1969, respectively, of the departments of Paleontology, and Stratigraphy and Historical Geology, which first directors were Dr. Miquel Crusafont and Dr. Oriol Riba, the later just arrived to our University. The initial name of the Department born in 1998 was "Stratigraphy and Paleontology," and it reached its current name in 2001 after adding the term "Marine Geosciences" in recognition to the work in this field carried out by part of its members.
The Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology and Marine Geosciences focuses on the study of sedimentary processes and the stratigraphic and paleobiological records, both marine and continental, at very different time and spatial scales, from the present back to the Tertiary and older, and from the particle size to the basin scale.
The Department's commitment towards the society results in a continued activity to increase the geological knowledge of our country and other world regions, sometimes as far away as South America, Asia, Africa, Antarctica or the Arctic. We contribute in that way to improve the knowledge basis of our society and to ensure its present and future welfare. The Department is particularly active on hot topics such as life evolution on Earth or climate change, as well as on the geological research for energy resources, geohazard assessment or mapping of marine habitats, being permanently open to interactions with other scientific disciplines. The knowledge acquired from our research activity directly benefits the courses given by the Department staff and the numerous outreach activities carried out beyond academic duties.
The Department consists of more than 70 people, including 5 full professors, 11 professors, 4 associate professors, 4 assistant professors, 7 post-doctoral contracted researchers, and 1 pre-doctoral contracted researcher. It also has 6 administration and laboratory assistants, and a variable number of pre-doctoral fellows that usually is around 30. Other collaborators and PhD students who do not benefit from scholarships add to the former. Finally, a small number of technicians, usually between 3 and 5, work under project funded contracts. As a mean, the Department hosts between 6 and 12 lecturers and visiting researchers every year who usually stay from two months to two years. (go to Directory).
The Department participates in the teaching of Geology, Geological Engineering, Biology and Environmental Sciences degrees with 21 courses totaling more than 3,200 classroom and laboratory hours per academic year. In the postgraduate level, the Department contributes with more than 800 classroom hours to teaching in 7 Masters, of which it manages 2 (Geology and Paleontology). It also participates in two doctoral programs, including the coordination of one of them (Marine Sciences, of interuniversity character). (go to Teaching)
The research activity of the members of the Department is organized around three main themes: (i) Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis, (ii) Paleontology and (iii) Marine Geosciences. The Department staff belongs to several recognized research groups, one of which (Marine Geosciences) is managed by the Department. Some of the members of the Department also belong to the Geomodels Institute, which focuses on the modeling of geological structures. The Department produces about 100 publications per year including articles in scientific journals (some in journals like Nature, Science and Nature Geosciences), books and book chapters. To finance its research the Department participates in open competitive calls, coming most of its funding from the European Commission, the Spanish RTD National Plan and Catalan research agencies. It also receives funding from companies, foundations, corporations and public administrations to carry out problem-oriented research projects. (go to Research).