Discover unique traces of life from millions of years ago. Design and plan a Fossil Gallery in a museum space. Explore some of the most remote and extraordinary parts of the world. Trace the evolution of species from the depths of geologic time. These opportunities and more are available to you when you choose to major in Palaeobiology at the University of Saskatchewan.
What is Palaeobiology?
Palaeobiology is the study of the fossil record of ancient organisms and their living descendants. Palaeobiology analyses the distribution and function of fossil animals and plants and reconstructs their evolutionary paths. The Palaeobiology program is an interdisciplinary endeavor offering courses in human, plant and animal diversity, morphology and history. A large selection of electives are available including physical anthropology, archaeology, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, botany, sedimentology and palaeontology. The broad base of course work and experience in the natural sciences offered in this program make it a unique course of study for students whose interest in nature extends beyond the present to include the dimension of geologic time.
|"My earliest memories are of collecting rocks and fossils with my grandmother. I can't ever remember wanting to be anything but a palaeontologist. The Palaeobiology program at the U of S allowed me to do what I wanted to do - it was the first step in fulfilling my dream of becoming a palaeontologist."||
Jaelyn J. Eberle, B.Sc. Honours With Distinction
A Stepping Stone...
A degree in Palaeobiology provides an excellent academic background for students interested in the history of life on our planet. The program is of particular interest to those who wish to pursue advanced study leading to an academic or research career. U of S Palaeobiology graduates have been highly successful in graduate programs all across North America and represent an exceptionally high proportion of scholarship winners.
There are a wide variety of professional opportunities available to Palaeobiology graduates. Many pursue professional careers in palaeobiology, palaeontology, archaeology, ancient history, museum interpretation and administration, or archival work. There are also opportunities in areas such as biological science, geology, geography, anthropology, zoology, human osteology, genetics, education and tourism. Graduates have highly developed research, communication and critical thinking skills that are assets in any career choice.
The U of S Advantage
The Palaeobiology program at the University of Saskatchewan offers a well-rounded curriculum that delivers solid classroom instruction combined with intensive tutorials. Small class sizes create a quality learning environment for students that maximizes interaction with professors as well as between peers. Beyond the excellent teacher-student ratio, many professors are professional researchers in the field and are mentors to students. The U of S Palaeobiology program is unique in Canada, combining courses from Anthropology & Archaeology, Biology and Geological Sciences, preparing students for exciting work in this interdisciplinary field.
Choose Your Program!
The flexibility of the Palaeobiology program gives students the freedom to customize a degree suited to their particular interests. Students have the option of completing a minor in an area related to their major. Minors are a great way to broaden career options.
A Major in Palaeobiology
Students majoring in Palaeobiology can choose from one of the following degrees:
- B.Sc. Four-year
- B.Sc. Honours
|"The U of S is a place where you can meet people from all over the world and being that Palaeobiology is the study of rocks and fossils from all over the world, there are excellent opportunities to travel to new places. If you are interested in discovering different people and places, as well as studying this science, Palaeobiology is a great subject to learn."||
Lara Shychoski, Hometown: Saskatoon SK
Outstanding Students & Faculty
- Dr. James F. Basinger, Professor and former Head of the Department of Geological Sciences, conducts research concerning the evolution of vegetation and environments in mid- and high-northern latitudes, such as the Canadian High Arctic, where he collects and studies the remains of fossil forests. His research has attracted the attention of the public and scientific communities around the world. Several Palaeobiology undergraduate students have accompanied him on expeditions to the Arctic collecting fossils in one of the most remote and extraordinary parts of the world.
- Jaelyn J. Eberle graduated with Distinction in 1991 from the Bachelor of Science Honours program in Palaeobiology. She went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Geology and a career as a Palaeontologist receiving the Romer Prize, the highest honour of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. She discovered the northernmost record of fossil mammals in the world and the first and only known fossil vertebrates from the Geodetic Hills mummified fossil forest on Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic. Jaelyn also participated in the Denver Basin Project and has gone on to co-author books, lecture at Rice University in Houston, Texas, be the Curator of Paleontology at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and is now a faculty member at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In addition, she has received more than twenty research grants and awards from various palaeontological societies.
- Taran Meyer, the best graduate in 2004, has won an NSERC Graduate Scholarship and is working towards a M.Sc. degree at the University of Saskatchewan.
Join the Palaeobiology Students’ Society, a club which organizes seminars at the U of S and plans social events off-campus — providing the opportunities for informal interaction among students and faculty with a common interest in palaeobiology. The club also offers field trips through which members can assist in digs or attend conferences at other universities. It is a good starting point for students new to the University and provides a friendly, interactive environment for those interested in the study of fossils and ancient environments.
The University of Saskatchewan houses some of the finest research laboratories in North America — students are encouraged to make use of these facilities and to participate in research programs. Faculty at the University represent the principle disciplines of palaeobiology, including invertebrate palaeontology, palaeobotany, sedimentology, archaeology, palaeoecology and evolutionary biology. Expertise in vertebrate palaeontology is provided in collaboration with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.
If you are interested in Palaeobiology, you might also be interested in:
For more information available online for Palaeobiology: