Therese Sallstedt

I am characterizing the ecology and taphonomy of Paleoproterozoic  (1.6 Ga) microbial mats from phosphatic stromatolites in the Vindhyan Supergroup, Central India. Phosphate has great preservation potential and can preserve micrometer-scaled objects, like fossilized microbial communities, with fine detail. Therefore, the presence of phosphorites in Earth History can give insights into what kind of life that was thriving and the type of environment in which they lived at the time of fossilization.

During the Paleoproterozoic, major phosphorite deposits were uncommon. The Vindhyan stromatolites therefore represent a unique preservational window into this time period in Earth History. I mainly use petrographic techniques, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM/EDS) and Synchrotron X-ray Tomographic Microscopy (SrXTM) to study preservation and taphonomy of the Vindhyan micro-biota. This project is a collaboration between the NordCEE group (Department of Biology) at SDU and the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm (Department of Paleobiology). Advisors for my project are: Don Canfield at SDU and Stefan Bengtson at NRM.