This stable research programme, which is carried out in the Department of Palaeontology, covers identification and classification studies (Taxonomy) of fossil marine macrofauna and microfauna, mainly echinoderms and large foraminifera, accumulated in sedimentary rocks deposited in the Tethys Sea (a Mesozoic sea that partly corresponds to the current Mediterranean Sea) and studies the evolution over time of these biotic communities based on their relative position in the different geological levels (Biostratigraphy). Furthermore, the study of the geographical distribution of the fossil microfauna and macrofauna contributes to knowledge of the structure and evolution of oceanic basins (Palaeobiogeography). Also, as with current organisms, the affinity or adaptation of certain elements or groups of fauna with or to specific ecological niches makes it possible to characterize the palaeoenvironment of the different areas of the marine environment and to study their evolution over geological time (Palaeoecology).
The two lines into which this programme is divided are the following:
Research in this line is part of the Cretaceous and lower Tertiary Group, a ‘Consolidated Research Group’ acknowledged by the Catalan Government (2014SGR 00960).