Why do I put all this effort into sampling modern ecosystems?
This photo gallery documents my typical day on the field during autumn times.
I check field tools on the beach, I start up my GPS-equipped camera, then I fit into the wetsuit… and then I splash into the cold water!
Succesively, my fieldwork basically consists of swimming and taking hundreds of georeferenced pictures of the seafloor.
I am a palaeontologist, hence a question might arise: Why do I put all this effort into sampling modern ecosystems?
Answering this question is based on a well-established ichnological principle, that is, different tracemakers may produce identical structures when behaving similarly. This holds for modern animals, but also for extinct ones, therefore swimming into the modern Ligurian Sea can be an ichnological time travel.
So, what is the answer? I put all this effort into sampling modern ecosystems because they are key for understanding ancient ones!