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Department of Historical Geology, Regional Geology and Palaeontology

The Department was established in 2021 after the fusion of the Department of Historical and Regional Geology and the Department of Palaeontology. The founding fathers of the two former units were Professors Jan Samsonowicz and Roman Kozłowski; the current head of the department is Professor Ireneusz Walaszczyk. It is impossible to list all the people who had worked in the two departments over 70 years of their existence, but certainly worth mentioning are those who have had a direct impact on the current generation of researchers over the last 20 years. Dr. hab. Ewa Stupnicka and Dr. Maria Ziembińska-Tworzydło, as well as Professors: Wacław Bałuk, Ryszard Marcinowski, Stanisław Orłowski, Michał Szulczewski, and Jerzy Trammer were the tutors and promotors of most of the department’s staff members.

The scope of the department’s scientific research originates directly from its name; we reconstruct the history of the Earth, both in its palaeontological and abiotic aspects, and improve the methods of determining the timeframes of geological events. Our activities follow four main research paths: palaeontology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, and regional geology, which we carry out in almost all periods of the Phanerozoic. The palaeontological aspect of our research is focused on invertebrates (trilobites, graptolites, stromatoporoids, rugose and tabulate corals, belemnites, ammonites, echinoderms, and inoceramids), vertebrates (fishes and their teeth), microfossils of various origin (conodonts, foraminifera, pollen and spores), calcareous algae, invertebrate ichnofossils, and many other groups, even of unknown affinities. The strictly palaeontological context is usually subordinated to the stratigraphic one; in many cases various aspects of palaeoecology are also studied. The most valuable achievements here are related to the Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Cretaceous and Neogene stratigraphy. The sedimentological aspect is mainly devoted to the study of carbonate rocks, based on microfacies analysis, cyclicity of deposition, as well as on geochemical methods. The expected consequences of all these analytical studies are conclusions about important aspects of regional geology of various parts of Poland and the world.

The natural research field of our investigations is generally southern Poland, especially the highlands and the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains, but increasingly more research projects are located outside the country, especially in Ukraine, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Morocco, North America, India, Japan, Vietnam, and even Australia.

Our research interests quite closely coincide with our course offer; the basic lectures conducted by the departmental staff include: Historical Geology, Palaeontology of Invertebrates and Vertebrates, Palaeobotany, Regional Geology of Poland and the World, Methodology of Stratigraphy, and a Practical Course of Microfacies Analysis, to mention the most important ones.