Why Palaeoscience is important

What can the past teach us about our future? Everything.

From dinosaurs, mass extinctions and meteorite impacts to the evolution of our species, the Palaeosciences has always inspired wonder and intrigue.

The practical benefits of Palaeoscience span across many areas, including insights into modern human medicine and biological conservation to creating a love of learning and enabling positive societal change through a shared understanding of our human heritage.

As our knowledge of the Earth and human history expands, we begin to discover just how connected we all are, how the past impacts the future, and what we can do to protect our planet today and beyond.

Research Projects

Research inspired by a fossil collection unlike any other.

In the heart of Africa, where South Africa has an unmatched geographical record, our four major research themes provide unique insights into the story of life.


Evolutionary Processes

This theme focuses on the southern African palaeobiodiversity; studying the timing of evolutionary events in major clades and significant climatic events; characterising the global geographic distribution of fossil taxa; investigating the nature of functional morphology and critical innovations in morphological evolution.


Cultural & Behavioural Evolution

This theme explains the key long-term material culture and behavioural transitions in hominin behaviour and how they led to modern human behaviour.


Palaeo-environments & Palaeoclimates

Earth systems change dynamically, and when stretched beyond certain thresholds, lead to changes (and potentially collapses) in ecosystems and biodiversity. This theme uncovers the variability in the resilience of past ecosystems to fluxes through space and time.

Get Funding

Apply for a grant and contribute to research excellence in South Africa’s thriving Palaeoscience community.

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Support Us

Be part of the solution to our world’s most pressing environmental and social issues.

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