Middle Palaeozoic (Devonian – Lower Carboniferous) ammonoids, conodonts, and trilobites

  • Morphology, ontogeny, taxonomy, and (non-cladistic) systematics
  • Phylogeny and evolutionary ecology
  • Biostratigraphy
  • Palaeobiogeography
  • Palaeobiology
  • Fossil remains as archives of palaeoclimate and palaeoozeanography

Global Events in the Middle Palaeozoic

  • 1st to 4th order global extinction and radiation events: basal Zlíchov-, Chebbi-, Daleje-, Chotec-, Kacak-, Taghanic-, Frasnes-, Timan-, Middlesex-, Rhinestreet-, Kellwasser-, Nehden-, Condroz-, Annulata-, Dasberg-, Hangenberg-, and Lower Alum-Shale-Events
  • Palaeodiversity: gradual changes and sudden (mass) extinctions
  • rapid and long-term palaeoecological trends (bio- and microfacies studies)
  • global abiotic environmental changes: black shales, facies movements, eustatic fluctuations, palaeoclimate, isotope spikes

Revision and refinement of Devonian/Carboniferous chronostratigraphy and geochronology (in the frame of the National and International Subcommissions on Devonian and Carboniferous Stratigraphy)

  • Revision of the base of the Emsian
  • Revision of the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary
  • Formal substage subdivisions of the Emsian, Eifwelian, Givetian, Frasnian, Famennian, and Tournaisian
  • Milankovitch cyclicity and the duration of biozones

Facies developments, synsedimentary tectonic movements, and plate tectonic configurations/palaeogeography in the Devonian/Carbniferous of the external Variscides (northern and southern Europe, Morocco); relationships between Laurussia, NW Gondwana, and North America

Devonian reef complexes

  • precise dating of times of reef growth and extinction
  • reef developments in time (palaeoecology,carbonate microfacies)
  • reef distribution and synsedimentary tectonic impact
  • taxonomy of selected reef builders and dwellers

Taxonomy, systematics, biostratigraphy, palaeobiology, and palaeobiogeography of other mid-Palaeozoic fossil groups

  • foraminiferes
  • gastropods
  • bivalves
  • brachiopods
  • fish (teeth)
  • sponges and receptaculites
  • crinoids

Trace fossils (M. Bertling)

Open topics concerning the palaeontology of the Münsterland and northern Sauerland (Cretaceous and Quarternary)


A focus on the Rhenish Massif, Franconia, southern France, Morocco, USA, Russia (Sibiria, Timan) and Western Australia

Other regions yielded fossils that have been or are currently subject of research: Thuringia, Belgium, northern France, SW-England, Carnic Alps, Holy Cross Mountains (Poland), Greece, Algeria, Northwest- and South China, Uzbekistan, Iran, Malaysia, Queensland, Victoria, Bolivia.