Our mission statement

The central theme of our Research Group is the history of biosphere. This topic has been increasingly in the focus of international paleontological research in the last few decades. Using the Earth system approach, the changes of biodiversity through time and the key events in evolution are studied in the framework of the environmental history of our planet. The dynamics of the biosphere are interconnected with processes in the lithosphere, hydrosphere and the atmosphere. The biota also plays an active role in regulating the environmental parameters. Some of the major mass extinctions may have been triggered by extraterrestrial causes, but most of them appear to have been driven by sudden, large-scale environmental and climatic changes. Knowing the history of the biosphere helps to better understand the ongoing global change and its biotic effects.

Most members of the research group are specialized in Mesozoic (especially Triassic and Jurassic) Earth history, with expertise in fossil Ammonoidea, Brachiopoda and Radiolaria. Another area of Mesozoic research is time scale calibration at the zonal level using radioisotopic dating. One researcher is specialized in Cretaceous vertebrates (Reptilia), whereas another colleague is an expert of Quaternary palynology and paleoclimate studies. This background, together with the stratigraphy and fossil record of Hungary, justifies that our planned research is focussed on the following key events and intervals in the history of Earth and its biosphere:

  • Middle Triassic evolution and radiation
  • End-Triassic extinction and Early Jurassic recovery and the Toarcian crisis
  • Late Cretaceous continental vertebrate fauna from the Bakony Mts.
  • Paleogeography, paleoecology and paleoenvironments of the Late Miocene Lake Pannon
  • Quaternary changes of climate and vegetation