School of Earth Sciences and Engeneering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China


DELTA, Nanjing University’s Geoscience-Paleontology Team aims to document taxonomic, temporal and evolutionary relations among fossil species, infer climate and environmental changes across the Phanerozoic, and develop a framework for understanding how these factors have interacted throughout deep time.

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To accomplish this goal we require collaborations with international partners on these and related topics. Our team specializes in quantitative stratigraphy, quantitative morphometry macroevolution, paleogeographic and paleoclimatologic reconstruction as well as data mining, and is in the process of expanding its research scope to more data-driven approaches – including machine learning and artificial intelligence – in the earth sciences. Over the past ten years the team has made significant achievements in digitizing both Chinese and western geoscience data, as well as constructing an advanced earth-science database system, OneStratigraphy (http://onestratigraphy.ddeworld.org/). This database focuses on the integration, management, sharing, visualization and analysis of both stratigraphic and taxonomic data in a geological section-base format, as well as developing tools to integrate and analyze such data from this and other sources. Current team members include Prof. Junxuan Fan, Prof. Norman MacLeod, Prof. Yukun Shi, Assoc. Prof. Shaochun Dong and Dr. Hao Huang.

Paleontological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich/ETH Zurich, Zurich, CN

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School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

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Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


The University of Oxford began as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. The study of palaeontology has a long and venerable history at Oxford, including foundational palaeontologists John Phillips and William Buckland. John Phillips was the first to publish both a diversity curve over the Phanerozoic and a global geological time scale, both of relevance to the aims of DELTA. William Buckland wrote the first full account of a dinosaur, named Megalosaurus, among other accomplishments.

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Today, two full-time faculty members with interest in the fossil record (Julie Cosmidis and Erin Saupe) are hosted in the Department of Earth Sciences, and four permanent research staff in the Oxford Museum of Natural History (Frances Dunn, Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente, and Paul Smith). Across departments, the University supports at least 30 individuals working in palaeobiological subdisciplines: https://palaeobiology.web.ox.ac.uk.

Today, palaeobiological research at the University of Oxford aims to understand the processes governing biotic change on long timescales, including major evolutionary transitions, such as the origin and early evolution of animals, and how biodiversity responds to environmental change. We approach this research by assessing the assembly of Earth’s extant and extinct biodiversity, studied in a rigorous phylogenetic and mathematical framework.

Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, London, UK

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