Local growth rate in ammonoid septa – ontogenetic and phylogenetic consequences
Model of septum (chamber separation wall) in an ammonite. Ill: Øyvind Hammer
Ammonoids are extinct cephalopods that are considered model organisms in studies of evolution because of high diversity, fast evolutionary rates and a good fossil record. The septa (walls separating the chambers) are complicated, and follow interesting ontogenetic and phylogenetic trends.
The project consists in fossil preparation, morphometric measurement (laser scanner or coordinate measuring machine) and calculation of local growth rates. Interpretation with respect to connections between ontogeny and phylogeny (heterochrony). The project may involve international cooperation.
The student should have some background in computer science. An interest in 3D computer graphics would be an advantage.