Project 653 - The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event
The ‘Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event’ (GOBE) comprises the rapid diversification of marine organisms during the Ordovician Period. It is now clear that this evolutionary radiation had started in some groups by the late Cambrian and continued for others beyond the end of the Ordovician, with the main bulk of the radiation focussed in the Mid Ordovician DarriwilianStage. However, regardless of the timing of the onset, the GOBE completely modified marine food webs and established modern marine ecosystems for the first time. The project focuses on interdisciplinary investigations, including case studies from globally distributed sites, involving specialists from the fields of, for example, palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, cosmochemistry, climate modelling, palaeooceanography andpalaeoclimatology, in collaboration with the Subcommission on Ordovician Stratigraphy (ISOS). The results of the project will contribute to the understanding of the triggers and timing of the establishment of modern marine ecosystems and also provide insight on the reasons of the first collapse of these environments which may have led directly to the Late Ordovician mass extinction. The project will involve scientists from all over the world, and through the organization of dedicated workshops, will integrate graduate and doctoral students, in particular from developing countries.