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Mikael Calner

News and activities

June 2017: Field work for MSc thesis in the lower Cambrian sandstones of Kinnekulle Table Mountain, central Sweden. Well preserved trace fossils!

May 2017: Field work for  BSc and MSc theses in the late Precambrian Visingsö Group.

May 2016: Deep drilling through Cambrian-Ordovician at Kinnekulle with Riksriggen. Information for media in Swedish

February 2016: Initial field work in New Providence and Andros Island on Quaternary carbonates. Photo shows large-scale cross-bedding in Holocene carbonate sand dune in New Providence.

January 2016: Reconnaissance for deep drilling at Kinnekulle. Proposed drill site at Högkullen.

August 2015: Deep coring through Silurian strata on Gotland, in collaboration with University of Iowa, and by means of new LU infrastructure Riksriggen. More info in Swedish. The crew!

Broadcasted on Swedish Radio P4 

Coverage by Gotland Allehanda

June 2015: Completing carbon isotope sampling campaign in Oslo region. Sitting on the Ordovician-Silurian boundary.

May 2015: Reconnaissance trip to Gotland to prepare for deep drilling. Studying Silurian reef limestone at Högklint.

June 2014: Field work and experience tour to classical Silurian localities of England and Wales.

May and August 2014: Field work in the Oslo-Asker district of southern Norway. Studying the Norwegian stratotype for the Ordovician-Silurian boundary, where the stratigraphy is upside-down!

June 2013: Chair of the IGCP 591 annual meeting in Lund. Regional excursion with one at the first stops at Rövarekulan locality to discuss Silurian shale fill of the Colonus Shale Trough. Field trip guide book to Palaeozoic outcrops of southern Sweden and Norway available here.


My teaching focuses on sedimentary processes and products on wide spatial and temporal scales – from river systems and deserts in the continental interiors to the pelagic rain in the deep ocean, and from the Precambrian to the recent. Students learn to identify ancient depositional environments through facies analysis and also to study how these systems evolved through time by means of sequence stratigraphy – in carbonate as well as clastic or mixed basins. Since my research background mainly is within carbonate rocks, palaeoecology and palaeontology is a natural and well integrated part of my teaching. Most of my exercises and field excursions are based on either the 'old' marine Cambro-Devonian Baltoscandian basin of south-eastern Scandinavia or the Swedish segment of the 'young' marine-continental Mesozoic Danish basin to the southwest. In the core laboratory in the basement of our department I have assembled a few hundreds of metres of Palaeozoic intracratonic stratigraphy. These cores are regularly used in my teaching for two reasons. It gives the students frequent opportunities to study 'the real thing', as a complement to field excursions, and a 'first-row-insight' into my research about the marine environment, climate change and extinction events during the Palaeozoic.

Research projects

I am a specialist in sedimentary geology, sequence stratigraphy, and palaeoecology, and utilise fossil sediments and geochemistry to study the interplay of global change in climate, sea-level and biodiversity (minor and mass extinctions). I am Swedish leader for IGCP 591, the Early to Middle Palaeozoic revolution.

Ordovician sea-level, stable isotope stratigraphy and global climate

The principal goal of the research project is to establish the first Global Sea-level Model [GSM] for the Ordovician period [488-444 Ma]. The GSM will be based on reference districts in two palaeocontinents, representing different climate settings; the tropical parts of Laurentia (Great Basin, south-eastern USA) and temperate Baltoscandia (Sweden and East Baltic area). The recent very rapid development in carbon isotope stratigraphy and a new, globally applicable chronostratigraphical classification of the Ordovician, for the first time provide foundation for such study. Detailed sea-level records will be reconstructed through study of sedimentary proxies [facies analysis, sequence stratigraphy] and tied to the twenty new chronostratigraphic stage slices for the Ordovician by means of stable isotope stratigraphy and biostratigraphy. The result will be one composite high-resolution Composite Eustasy Stratotype Section [CESS] from each continent, which together forms the basis for the global model. The usage of the stratigraphically very well defined, and internationally agreed, stage slices as basic correlative unit for the first time permit a future regular revision and update of the GSM.

Silurian extinction events and climate – impact on carbonate platform ecosystems

In this project I primarily study the coupled extinction events and carbon isotope excursions of the Silurian on a broad interdisciplinary basis by integrating studies of short-term biodiversity and ecological changes with changes in relative sea-level and perturbations in the global carbon cycle. The initial hypothesis to be tested is that these minor extinction events are in several aspects comparable to some of the 'major five' extinction events of the Phanerozoic and are more similar to them than previously believed. This hypothesis has evolved from the growing body of biological and geochemical evidence that Silurian extinction events were global and associated with changes in the global carbon cycle that were of equal or even greater magnitude than those related to the Late Cambrian SPICE event, and the end-Ordovician and Frasnian-Famennian mass extinctions. From an ecological point of view the Silurian events share unexpectedly many characters with the most devastating events of the Palaeozoic (e.g. microbial resurgence and development of anachronistic facies).

Holocene ooids and the significance of ancient calcareous oolites

This project is funded through a small Lund university grant. It focus on the the anatomy and mineralogy of recent and sub-recent ooids in the Bahamas complex and will utilize synchrotron light facilities and LA-ICP-MS to characterize ooids. It also aims to reveal the oceanographic and ecological significance of widespread calcareous oolites that developed in the aftermath of some of the mass extinctions in Earth history. I have the questions but not the answers. Widespread oolite formations in the Palaeozoic clearly signals major ecosystem changes in the marine environment.

 Publikationslista från Google scholar


Hämtat ur Lunds universitets publikationsdatabas



Hämtat ur Lunds universitets publikationsdatabas


Hämtat ur Lunds universitets publikationsdatabas

Mikael Calner
E-post: mikael [dot] calner [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 14 24

+46 72 732 79 00


Sölvegatan 12, Lund