Earth and Life Evolution (ELE)
The Master Specialty in Earth and Life Evolution explores two complementary aspects of Earth Sciences – the evolution of the geosphere and that of the biosphere – linked by a common theme: the processes and the unique history that have produced our life-sustaining planet. It is a curriculum dominated by curiosity-driven pure science, based on the subdisciplines of paleontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy and geochemistry. Owing to the diversity of the underlying scientific approaches and techniques, a broad-based training is an essential feature of this Specialty. It requires that the students already have – or are prepared to acquire – sound basic knowledge in Earth history, palaeontology, and (isotope)-geochemistry. During the Master studies, students may choose specific areas in which increased expertise can be gained.
Master students have access to a wide range of analytical facilities at the host institutes, including petrographic microscopy, grain-size analysis, micropalaeontological preparation, cathodo-luminescence, scanning-electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, laser-Raman spectroscopy, laser-ablation-ICP-MS, fluid inclusion microthermometry, wet-chemical laboratories with ICP-OES and ion-chromatography, mass-spectrometers for stable isotopes of C, O, H, He, Ca, Mo, and for radiogenic isotopes of the K-Ar, Rb-Sr, Nd-Sm, and U-Pb systems. Computational facilities include computer clusters for numerical modeling and GIS applications.
Access is also offered to museum collections (mineralogy, palaeontology, petrography, meteorites) and to ongoing scientific excavations (e.g., Paleojura team project).