- Postdoctoral Research Associate (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)
General Research Interests
- Origins and early Evolution of Brachiopods
- Evolution of Biomineralization
- Diagenesis as a tool in Fossil Preservation
CaCO3 polymorph formation at biologically relevant temperatures - in collaboration with Maggie Cusack (Glasgow)
The formation of aragonite and calcite is temperature dependent - can this help us to explain patterns in the evolution skeletal composition among marine invertebrates?
Cambrian - Ordovician Phylogeny of the Lophophorata - in collboration with Alistair McGowan (Glasgow), Martin Brazeau (Leiden), Christian Skovsted (Stockholm), Lars Holmer and Michael Streng (both Uppsala), David Harper (Durham), Glenn Brock (Macquarie), Zhifei Zhang (Northwest University, Xi'an, China)
The best resolved cladistic analysis of brachiopods so far using the only available witnesses: Cambrian and Ordovician fossils.
Stromatoporoid sponges in a calcite sea - in collaboration with Maggie Cusack, Anne-Christine DaSilva (Liege, Belgium), and Stephen Kershaw (Brunel University)
The skeletal composition of stromatoporoid sponges was suggested to reflect ancient aragonite/calcite sea conditions - but do they?
Balthasar, U. and Cusack, M., 2013-2015. Calcification in calcite seas, US$100k; American Chemical Society PRF-New Directions grant; PhD student funding
Balthasar, U., 2012. The evolution of biomineralization, £1.2k, Palaeontological Association; support to organise a conference session
Balthasar, U., 2011. Cambrian calcareous brachiopods of eastern Canada, £8k (in kind), EU Synthesys Program; support of travel costs, living expenses, and bench fees for one months’ stay at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm
Balthasar, U. and Cusack, M. 2009-2012. The role of skeletal microstructure in evolution, €249k (Volkswagen Foundation). Co-Investigators: M. Aberhan (Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt University, Berlin). Postdoctoral salary and research costs for three years.
Balthasar, U. and Cusack, M. 2009. Deciphering the evolution of calcite biomineralisation from organophosphatic ancestors in brachiopods using tomography, Grant-in-kind £15k (Swiss Light Source). Access to Synchrotron facilities including travel costs and accomodation.