Tuesday, 22 July 2014

TW:eed Masters Projects kick off with field studies

Last week I was up in the Scottish Borders for a week of fieldwork. It was fantastic weather all week, with comfortable heat wave temperatures of 20oC in the shade and hardly any rain. I was joined by field assistant Kirsty Summers, a second year undergraduate from the University of Leicester. We surveyed and sampled two new field sites, along with revisiting the main coastal site to work on a few specific sections while they were accessible at low tide.
Low tide at the main field site, with excellent rock exposure

Starting their Masters research projects with field studies were University of Leicester students Hattie Dulson and Greg Phillpotts.
Hattie’s project is titled “How variable were the Early Carboniferous ecosystems inhabited by the earliest four-limbed vertebrates?“. This project will test the hypothesis that an interval with newly-discovered plant and tetrapod fossils represents a transition from a non-marine to a marine-influenced environment.  
Greg’s project is titled “Why were the Early Carboniferous floodplains of southern Scotland key sites for preservation of the earliest four-limbed vertebrates?” This project will test the hypothesis that a key interval with important early tetrapod fossils represents an entirely non-marine floodplain environment.
And my field assistant from last year, Rachel Curtis is doing a borehole-related Masters project entitled “Early Carboniferous depositional environments in the Northumberland Basin and implications for carbon-isotope stratigraphy”. This project will test the hypothesis that the Northumberland Basin was more marine-influenced than the neighbouring Tweed Basin.
TW:eed Project 2014 Master’s students and field assistants, clockwise from top left: Greg Phillpotts, Kirsty Summers, Rachel Curtis and Hattie Dulson

I’m really looking forward to working with these students over the coming months and seeing what they discover.

Until next time

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