By Dr. Arindam Roy,
Palaeontology is the examine of prehistoric organisms that thrived within the biosphere of the earth and later remodeled into fossils largely after submit mortem burial. Many of these organisms, for instance, the enormous dinosaurs are extinct, whereas many others nonetheless survives (extant). Palaeontology is a department inside geology and serves as a basic pillar in revealing the geological historical past in addition to defining the evolutionary pattern of life that survived on earth by geological ages. While developing the stratigraphy of a basin, palaeontology performs the important thing position in defining the age of the completely different lithological horizons with the assistance of its diagnostic fossil assemblages. Fossil is probably the most dependable device for ascertaining the age of a horizon, as as a result of a specific lithology might seem repeatedly inside the geological time scale, however a specific species won’t ever repeat itself and is restricted solely to specific strata, thereby revealing a particular age. Life on earth since its inception has survived many mass extinction occasions and has advanced into the present-day biosphere comprising hundreds of thousands of species. Unlike different branches of science, the area of palaeontology may be very large and encompasses all of the life types that ever appeared within the earth. Consequently, there are lots of specialised streams inside palaeontology, for instance, micropalaeontology, vertebrate palaeontology, invertebrate palaeontology, palynology, ichnology and lots of others. Hence, it’s evident that to establish and describe a fossils of a specific group, one must develop experience in that group.
Careers in palaeontology are equally numerous and possess a lot of alternatives for the amateurs in addition to the professionals. The commonest and important career prospect in palaeontology is educating the topic as a professor in tutorial establishments. Scholars having a grasp diploma in Geology and a Ph.D. diploma in palaeontology have ample alternatives to use for the submit of professor in several nationwide/International academia. Individual having a robust ardour for educating might go for this occupation. Students with analysis background may additionally apply for scientific positions recruited in several scientific organisations within the nation like Geological Survey of India (GSI), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and lots of institutes beneath Ministry of Earth sciences (MoES) and Department of Science and Technology (DST). Scholars with a micro palaeontological experience are greatest suited to grease corporations the place the position of a palaeontologist is to assist finding the doable oil reverses primarily based on micro fossil assemblages. Students after finishing their masters in geology might soak up in several palaeontological analysis initiatives of tutorial establishments which offers fellowship in addition to a possibility to register for Ph.D. programs in palaeontology. There are additionally many fellowship packages within the nation providing post-doctoral analysis exposures to the students, e.g., National post-doctoral fellowship (NPDF) supplied by SERB-DST and D.S. Kothari fellowship supplied by UGC. All these analysis experiences might assist the students to develop requisite experience within the topic and strengthen their candidature for everlasting positions in scientific in addition to tutorial establishments.
Although not quite common within the nation, the place of Curator in several museums is a profitable career possibility as students get the publicity to a large assortment of fossils resulting in additional researches. This alternative is extra open in European nations. Large museums just like the Natural History Museums even have analysis and assortment supervisor positions. Nowadays, many tutorial and analysis institutes are growing a public outreach cell the place they utilise palaeontologists to create consciousness among the many widespread individuals relating to the significance of fossils and the necessity for its conservation by seminars and exhibitions.
To pursue a career in palaeontology, it’s at all times higher to go for a specific specialization and acquire experience on the topic by analysis and publications. This course of of career building could also be time taking however the efforts will likely be excessive yielding.
(The creator is Senior Geologist, Palaeontology Division at National Centre of Excellence and Geoscience Research, Kolkata. Views expressed are private and don’t mirror the official place or coverage of the Financial Express Online.)