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X-ray diffraction tomography (XRD-CT) and pair distribution function tomography (PDF-CT): novel tools for paleontological investigations

Grant number: 22/06133-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): November 22, 2022
Effective date (End): November 21, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Geology
Principal Investigator:Miguel Angelo Stipp Basei
Grantee:Bruno Becker Kerber
Supervisor: Valeri Petkov
Host Institution: Instituto de Geociências (IGC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Central Michigan University (CMU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:20/11320-0 - Unveiling the hidden: investigating the first animals of South America through phase-contrast SR-microCT and deep learning image processing, BP.PD


Although Paleontology is often seen as a science developed in dark corridors and dusty drawers of museums and university collections, this could not be further from the truth. Recent technological developments often applied in Physical, Chemical and Medical Sciences are now widely applied to paleontological investigations and have dramatically impacted in major questions in this field of research, including: the appearance of the first fossilized cells, the origin of animals and skeletons, establishment of biosignatures parameters (and their application in Astrobiology). Here we aim to apply the novel techniques of XRD-CT and PDF-CT to the structural characterization in short- and long-range order (PDF and XRD, respectively) as well as mineralogical properties with spatial (2D) and volumetric (3D) distribution of specially selected fossils that may shed light on major questions about the history of life on Earth. These fossils include: the first animals, the oldest putative evidence of meiofauna, and the first terrestrial fungi. (AU)

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