The Livingston fossil macroflora: reconstructing the paleoclimate and paleoecology of an ancient forest from southern Alberta

Plants closely reflect the climate where they grow as they are immobile and must interact and adapt to the conditions of their environment. Given this relationship between plants and the environment, fossil plants can be used to reconstruct past environments, and groups of fossil plants more generally provide a valuable record of ancient climates and ecosystems. The proposed project will involve research on fossil plants of early Paleocene age (~60 million years ago), recovered from sites in northeast Calgary, Alberta. The fossil plants from these sites will be analyzed in order to reconstruct the ancient climate of southern Alberta, and to better understand past ecosystems at the sites. The results of this project will improve our overall understanding of climates during past warm periods in Earth history, and will also provide valuable environmental context when studying animal fossils from the region.

Christopher Kirk West
Faculty Supervisor: 
Alberto V Reyes
Partner University: