The future of paleontology and taphonomy: part 2
journal contributionposted on 20.11.2018, 00:00 by Roy E. Plotnick, Sally E. Walker
We accept as a given that research in taphonomy will have a continuing impact within paleontology but, as we discussed in issue Number 3 of DDD, it is vital that this work also be brought to the attention of non-paleontologists. This is, of course, only a part of the picture; we believe that the entire discipline of paleontology contains information and ideas vital to our colleagues in other disciplines. It is critical for the future of paleontology to re-examine how we focus and present our research. We need to "sell" what paleontology has to offer in order to maintain interest (and employment!). How to do so was discussed vigorously at the Cincinnati GSA meeting in October; we present some of these ideas here as a basis for continued discussion. For example, paleontology is critical for interpreting the biotic and abiotic processes and patterns produced by global change, including climatic variation, the carbonate cycle, CO2 dynamics, and how organisms respond to change. As paleotologists we have the only direct historical records of these interactions. Research on sediment diagenesis, sediment input from deforestation and its affects on marine or freshwater assemblages, shell destruction and beach-berm dynamics, are some of the ways that paleontology and taphonomy can enhance applied research. Paleontology is beginning to have a major impact on studies in sequence statigraphy. The list is endless..... Get the world out!