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FOR 2685: The Limits of the Fossil Record: Analytical and Experimental Approaches to Fossilization

Group photo of  Research Unit 2685 in September 2018

FOR 2685 group photo in 2018_cropped

Research Clusters, Projects, and Members of FOR 2685, 2018–2020

Cluster A: Preservation of Mineralized Tissues

A1   Experimental alteration of bones and teeth: Quantification of effects on inorganic and organic compounds — Principal Investigators Thorsten Geisler-Wierwille and Thomas Tütken, Ph.D. student Anna Kral

A2   Organic phase (extracellular matrix, osteocyte, blood vessel) preservation in dinosaur bone: Chemical composition and hypotheses — Principal Investigators P. Martin Sander and Christa Müller, Ph.D. students Kayleigh Weyand and Mariam Tahoun

A3   The organic phase in dinosaur eggshell: Analysis, models of preservation, and implications for the evolution of bird reproduction — Principal Investigators Marianne Engeser and P. Martin Sander, Ph.D. student Anne Schnell, postdoc researcher Dr. Yang Tzu-Ruei

Cluster B: Permineralization of Non-mineralized Tissues

B1   Physicochemical and microbial processes governing the decay of organic substance in sediment under anoxic conditions — Principal Investigator Chris Ballhaus, postdoc researcher Dr. Fabian Gäb

B2   From cell to cell, tissue to tissue: Pathways in low-temperature wood silicification — Principal Investigators Carole T. Gee and Chris Ballhaus, postdoc researchers Dr. Moritz Liesegang and Dr. Shook Ling Low

B3   The impact of bacterial activity on decay and fossilization of arthropods: An experimental approach — Principal Investigators Gabriele Bierbaum and Jes Rust, Ph.D. students Kathrin Janssen and Bastian Mähler

B4   U–Pb systematics of fossilized biogenic tissues as a tracer of long-term diagenetic processes — Principal Investigator Thorsten Geisler-Wierwille, postdoc researcher Dr. Frank Tomaschek

Cluster C: Alteration of Non-mineralized Tissues and Compounds

C1   The detection of antiherbivore secondary compounds in the fossil record and their potential role in defense against insects — Principal Investigators Torsten Wappler and Jes Rust, postdoc researcher Dr. Victoria McCoy and Ph.D. student Madieh Malekhosseini

C2   Soft tissue preservation in amber: A comparative study on the taphonomy and limits of fossilization of resin embedded arthropods — Principal Investigator Jes Rust, Ph.D. student Jonas Barthel

Publications of Research Unit FOR 2685, 2018 to present

1. Yang, T.-R., Y.-H. Chen, J. Wiemann, B. Spiering, and P.M. Sander. 2018. Fossil eggshell cuticle elucidates dinosaur nesting ecology. PeerJ, 6: e5144, 1–23.

2. McCoy, V.E., A. Boom, O. Wings, T. Wappler, C. Labandeira, and C.T. Gee. Submitted. Fossilization of the Eocene "monkeyhair" laticifer tree from Geiseltal, Germany: A deeper understanding enabled by micro CT and pyrolysis GC/MS. Palaios.

3. McCoy, V.E., S.E. Gabbott, K. Penkman, M.J. Collins, S. Presslee, J. Holt, H. Grossman, B. Wang, M.M. Solórzano Kraemer, X. Delclòs, and E. Penalver. 2019. Ancient amino acids from fossil feathers in amber. Scientific Reports, 9: 6420.

4. Gee, C.T., P.M. Sander, S.E. Peters, M.T. El-Hennawy, M.S.M. Antar, I.S. Zalmout, and P.D. Gingerich. 2018. Fossil burrow assemblage, not mangrove roots: reinterpretation of the main whale- bearing layer in the late Eocene of Wadi Al-Hitan, Egypt. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 143:143–158.

5. Jäger, K.R.K., H. Tischlinger, G. Oleschinski, and P.M. Sander. 2018. Goldfuß was right: Soft part preservation in the Late Jurassic pterosaur Scaphognathus crassirostris revealed by reflectance transformation imaging and ultraviolet light and the auspicious beginnings of paleo-art. Palaeontologia Electronica, 21.3.3T: 1–20.

6. Wiemann, J., T.-R. Yang, and M.A. Norell. 2018. Dinosaur egg colour had a single evolutionary origin. Nature, 563: 555-559.

7. Wiemann, J., M. Fabbri, T.-R. Yang, K. Stein, P.M. Sander, M.A. Norell, and D.E.G. Briggs. 2018. Fossilization transforms vertebrate hard tissue proteins into N-heterocyclic polymers. Nature Communications, 9: 4741.

8. Stein, K., E. Prondvai, T. Huang, J.-M. Baele, P.M. Sander, and R. Reisz. 2019. Structure and evolutionary implications of the earliest (Sinemurian, Early Jurassic) dinosaur eggs and eggshells. Scientific Reports, 9: 4424.

9. Peris, D., C.C. Labandeira, E. Barrón, X. Delclòs, J. Rust, and B. Wang. 2020. Generalist pollen-feeding beetles during the mid-Cretaceous. iScience, 23(3): 100913.

10. Peris, D., and J. Jelínek. 2019. Syninclusions of two new species of short-winged flower beetle (Coleoptera: Kateretidae) in mid-Cretaceous Kachin amber (Myanmar). Cretaceous Research, 106: 104264.

11. McCoy, V.E., J. Wiemann, J.C. Lamsdell, C.D. Whalen, S. Lidgard, P. Mayer, H. Petermann, and D.E.G. Briggs. 2020. Chemical signatures of soft tissues distinguish between vertebrates and invertebrates from the Carboniferous Mazon Creek Lagerstätte of Illinois. Geobiology, 18: 560–565.

12. Peris, D., and J. Jelínek. 2019. Atypical short electra in Cretaceous short-winged flower beetles (Coleoptera: Kateretidae). Palaeoentomology, 002(5): 505–514.

13. Liesegang, M., and C.T. Gee. 2020. Silica entry and accumulation in standing trees in a hot-spring environment: cellular pathways, rapid pace and fossilization potential. Palaeontology, 63(4): 651–660.

14. Gee, C.T., V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander. In press. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

15. Sander, P.M., and C.T. Gee. In press. Introduction to the limits of the fossil record. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

16. Wiersma, K., S. Läbe, and P.M. Sander. In press. Organic phase preservation in fossil dinosaur and other tetrapod bone from deep time: Extending the probable osteocyte record to the early Permian. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

17. Yang, T.-R., and A. Canoville. In press. Fossilization of reproduction-related hard and soft tissues and structures in non-avian dinosaurs and birds. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

18. Geisler, T., and M. Menneken. In press. Raman spectroscopy in fossilization research: Basic principles, applications in paleontology, and a case study on an acanthodian fish spine. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

19. Barthel, H.J., V.E. McCoy, and J. Rust. In press. From ultrastructure to biomolecular composition: Taphonomic patterns of tissue preservation in arthropod inclusions in amber. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

20. Gee, C.T., and M. Liesegang. In press. Experimental silicification of wood in the lab and field: Pivotal studies and open questions. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

21. Liesegang, M., F. Tomaschek, and J. Götze. In press. The structure and chemistry of silica in mineralized wood: Techniques and analysis. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

22. McCoy, V.E., T. Wappler, and C.C. Labandeira. In press. Exceptional fossilization of ecological interactions: Plant defenses during the four major expansions of arthropod herbivory in the fossil record. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

23. Gee, C.T., and V.E. McCoy. In press. Color in living and fossil plants: The search for biological pigments in the paleobotanical record. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

24. McCoy, V.E. In press. The future of fossilization. In C.T. Gee, V.E. McCoy, and P.M. Sander, eds. Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 304 pp.

25. Peris, D., K. Janssen, H.J. Barthel, G. Bierbaum, X. Delclòs, E. Penalver, M.M. Solórzano Kraemer, B.H. Jordal, and J. Rust. 2020. DNA from resin-entombed organisms: Past, present and future. PLoS Biology, 15(9): e0239521.

26. Barthel, H.J., D. Fougerouse, T. Geisler, and J. Rust. 2020. Fluoridation of a lizard bone embedded in Dominican amber suggests open-sytem behaviour. PLoS One, 15(2): e0228843.

27. Liesegang, M., and F. Tomaschek. 2020. Tracing the continental diagenetic loop of the opal-A to opal-CT transformation with X-ray diffraction. Sedimentary Geology, 398: 105603.

29. Peris, D. 2020. Coleoptera in amber from Cretaceous resiniferous forests. Cretaceous Research, 113: 104484.

31. Kral, A., A. Ziegler, T. Tütken, and T. Geisler. Submitted. Influence of experimental aquaous alteration on cortical bone microarchitecture under simulated early diagenetic conditions. Frontiers in Palaeontology.

34. Gäb, F., C. Ballhaus, E. Stinnesbeck, A.G. Kral, K. Janssen, and G. Bierbaum. 2020. Experimental taphonomy of fish—Role of elevated pressure, salinity and pH. Scientific Reports, 10: 7839.

Last updated: October 5, 2020

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