Warming waters: Mapping fossil fishes to forecast climate change impacts

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Ane Elise Schrøder


Postdoctoral Fellow


Department of Earth Sciences, University of Turin, Italy


DKK 900,000




Internationalisation Fellowships


Among modern vertebrate species, the teleost fishes are by far the most diverse and abundant, currently represented by ~33,000 living species, constituting 96% of all recent fish species. They form a fundamental part of food webs in the world's oceans, and are concurrently an important economic resource for fisheries, human nutrition and global food supply.


The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is commonly considered the best ancient analogue of modern climate changes. Understanding the diversification and evolution of fossil fish lineages on Earth during this warming period, and the time following, including the Early Eocene Climatic optimum (EECO), is vital to predict and understand present and future hazards today’s oceans are facing.


This study will be the first of its kind to conduct a comprehensive, comparative study across Eocene fish faunas based on the world’s largest µXRF-dataset and fossil archives from geological formations in Denmark and Italy, to assess the responses of past fish assemblages to Eocene climate changes, in order to understand how present and future climate changes will affect modern fish species.

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