Seagrass/seaweed meadows are key contributors to the production and accumulation of organic matter in the shelf areas. Since seagrasses/seaweeds are not well predisposed for fossilization, the primary aim of this project is to use a set of organic geochemistry proxies to identify them in the fossil record. Although there are some studies focused on the biogeochemistry of modern seagrass meadows, they have never been tested for the application on pre-Quaternary ecosystems. We plan to employ a simple set of various organic geochemical proxies: determination of thermal maturity of samples, a simple biomarker study and subsequent interpretations using chromatographic analyses of extracts. The presence and distribution of lipid tracers together with the presence of pentacyclic triterpenoids, are useful for understanding of paleo-ecosystems. Aliphatic hydrocarbons are good as recorders of organic matter. Other biomarkers can be used to interpret the depositional conditions such as paleo-salinity, redox conditions.

We expect applicant with elementary orientation in the organic geochemistry and with basic laboratory skills. The PhD project will thus stimulate both laboratory and interpretation skills of the applicant, while we will have a freedom to decide specific orientation of the project (Tertiary, Mesozoic, Early Palaeozoic) depending on quality of available material.

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