Research Statement


My research focuses on the taxonomy, phylogeny, palaeobiology and application of ostracods (microcrustaceans of around 1mm size with a calcified bivalved shell, the carapace, that today inhabit virtually all aquatic environments, both marine and non-marine). Ostracods' small size, morphological variability, ecology, fossilization potential and long geological history render them excellent candidates for a wide array of applications. In non-marine deposits, ostracods are among the most common fossils, at least since the Middle-Late Jurassic, and consequently one of the most useful groups. Other research aspects comprise the palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of these ostracods, fundamental prerequisites, principles, and methods of their application, and the taxonomy and application of associated Mesozoic Charophyta (stoneworts), and research on Mesozoic marine ostracods.

             My second research focus is on palaeoclimatology, i.e. climate change, its interplay with life, natural cycles (hydrologic/geochemical cycles), paleobiogeography, paleoecology and paleoenvironmental analysis, paleobiology, paleolimnology. I am particularly interested in climate-mode shifts, short-term climate changes, ocean-land interactions, and applications of these, such as marine to non-marine stratigraphic correlations.

Dr. Benjamin Sames

Research Topics


1. Micropaleontology of Ostracoda (and Charophyta) with focus on Mesozoic non-marine deposits

2. Integrated stratigraphy of Wealden ostracods

3. Climate and Sea-level change, climate extremes (Cretaceous => IGCP 609)

4. Non-marine (and marine) late Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous ostracods of the world

5. Fundamentals, principles and methods of the biostratigraphic application of (late) Mesozoic non-marine ostracods

6. Ostracod biostratigraphy, palaeoecology, palaeobiogeography, phylogeny, and evolution

7. Palaobiology and application of ostracod reproductive and dispersal mechanisms

8. Origin and early evolution of the non-marine ostracods

9. Taxonomy and application of Late Jurassic-Cretaceous Charophyta

10. Theoretical, practical and applied taxonomy

International Cooperations (Selection)


       Prof. Dr. Michael Wagreich - University of Vienna, Austria

       Prof. Dr. David J. Horne - Queen Mary, University of London, UK

       Dr. Khaled Trabelsi - University of Sfax, Tunisia

       Prof. Dr. Richard L. Cifelli - University of Oklahoma and Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, OK, USA

       Prof. Dr. Carles Martín-Closas - Universidad de Barcelona, Spain

       João Villar de Queiroz Neto - CENPES Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

       Dr. Wang Yaqiong - Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology/Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China

       Dr. Xi Dangpeng - China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China

       Prof. Dr. Michael E. Schudack († 2016) - Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

      Prof. Dr. Robin C. Whatley († 2016) - University of Aberystwyth, UK



Theriosynoecum pahasapensis (Peck, 1941), Early Cretaceous, Lakota Formation, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

Cypridea  (Pseudocypridina) setina var. setina (Anderson, 1939), Early Cretaceous, Lakota Formation, Black Hills, South Dakota, USA

Main Fields of Research


     Paleontology/Micropalaeontology (Ostracoda, Charophyta)

     Taxonomy (applied and theoretical) and Systematics

     (Bio-)Stratigraphy, Integrated and Applied Statigraphy

     Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoceanography

     Palaeoecology and Palaeolimnology




Watch a little movie with living ostracods from my aquarium


(Species Heterocypris incongruens)