Terrestrische Paläoklimatologie

Pascal Abel, M.Sc.

Curriculum Vitae

2013 – 2016

B. Sc. in geoscience at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Bachelor thesis: „Taxonomische Analyse eines Meeresreptils aus dem Oberjura der nördlichen Frankenalb [Taxonomic analysis of a marine reptile from the Upper Jurassic oft he northern Franconian Jura]“.

2016 – 2019

M. Sc. in geoscience at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, majoring in paleobiology and applied sedimentology.

Master thesis: „Macroecological patterns in Paleozoic ammonoids”.

Since 2019

PhD at Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, Tübingen

Field-work and internship


Bürgermeister-Müller-Museum Solnhofen, Pfalzpaint excavation (Upper Jurassic, sea jellies and crustaceans)


Jura-Museum Eichstätt, Ettling excavation (Upper Jurassic, bony fishes)


Geopark Ries, administration and geotopes

Research interests

Amniotes (the common group of mammals, birds, and reptiles) first appeared during the Carboniferous period (~ 320 million years ago) and since then have been evolved an incredible diversity of species and ecological adaptations.

My research interests focus mainly on the skull anatomy of amniotes. In contrast to their ancestors, most amniotes evolved a vast array of temporal skull openings. Traditionally, the number and position of such openings has been used for amniote taxonomy (e.g., Anapsida, Synapsida, Diapsida, Euryapsida) with most of these taxa not considered valid anymore. Instead, recent studies highlight the functional aspects of temporal openings. For my thesis, I study the functional morphology, ontogeny, and ecological drivers behind the evolution of the temporal skull region. My tasks include the study of microCT scans, geometric morphometrics, as well as the quantitative analysis of macroevolutionary patterns.

Other projects besides my PhD topic include the fossil record of marine crocodiles (Thalattosuchia) and other marine reptiles from Germany, the macroecology of ammonites as well as the pterosaurs from the Cretaceous of Northern Germany.

Homepage: www.abel-paleo.jimdofree.com

Researchgate: www.researchgate.net/profile/Pascal_Abel

Twitter: @erdgeschichten


  • Abel, P. (2021). Vor 1955: Macrospondylus bollensis – Puzzle eines Meereskrokodils. In: Aus der Tiefenzeit – Die Paläontologische Sammlung der Universität Tübingen (eds.: Seidl, E., Bierende, E. & Werneburg, I), Tübingen, 456–467.

  • Abel, P. (2021). 1907: Tylosaurus – der Leviathan aus Kansas. In: Aus der Tiefenzeit – Die Paläontologische Sammlung der Universität Tübingen (eds.: Seidl, E., Bierende, E. & Werneburg, I), Tübingen, 358–365.

  • Abel, P. & Werneburg, I. (2021). Morphology of the temporal skull region in tetrapods: research history, functional explanations, and a new comprehensive classification scheme. Biological Reviews 96 (5): 2229–2257. doi: 10.1111/brv.12751

  • Abel, P., Sachs, S., Young, M.T. (2020). Metriorhynchid crocodylomorphs from the lower Kimmeridgian of Southern Germany: evidence for a new large-bodied geosaurin lineage in Europe. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology 44 (2): 312–326. doi: 10.1080/03115518.2019.1701079

  • Abel, P., Hornung, J.J., Kear, B.P., & Sachs, S. (2021). An anhanguerian pterodactyloid mandible from the lower Valanginian of Northern Germany, and the German record of Cretaceous pterosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. doi: 10.4202/app.00818.2020.

  • Sachs, S., Young, M.T., Abel, P., and Mallison, H. (2019). A new species of the metriorhynchid crocodylomorph Cricosaurus from the Upper Jurassic of southern Germany. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 64 (2): 343–356. doi: 10.4202/app.00541.2018

  • Sachs, S., Johnson, M.M., Young, M.T., and Abel, P. (2019). The mystery of Mystriosaurus: Redescribing the poorly known Early Jurassic teleosauroid thalattosuchians Mystriosaurus laurillardi and Steneosaurus brevior. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 64 (3): 565–579. doi: 10.4202/app.00557.2018

  • Sachs, S., Young, M.T., Abel, P., and Mallison, H. (2021). A new species of Cricosaurus (Thalattosuchia, Metriorhynchidae) based on a remarkably well-preserved skeleton from the Upper Jurassic of Germany. Palaeontologia Electronica: 24.2.a24: 1–28. doi: 10.26879/928

  • Young, M.T., Sachs, S. & Abel, P. (2018). Einblicke in die Evolution der Thalattosuchier - Meereskrokodile des Mesozoikums. Fossilien 3/2018: 16-23.

  • Young, M.T., Sachs, S. & Abel, P. (2018). Fossil Focus: Thalattosuchia. Palaeontology Online, Volume 8, Article 5, 1-13.

  • Young, M.T., Sachs, S., Abel, P., Foffa, D., Herrera, Y., Kitson , J.J.N. (2020). Convergent evolution and possible constraint in the posterodorsal retraction of the external nares in pelagic crocodylomorphs. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 189 (2): 494–520. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa021