Researchers at UCD


Laetitia Adler

Postgraduate Student

School of Earth Sciences
Room G 38
Science Center West
UCD Belfield
Dublin 4



Laetitia finished her M.A. (Diplom) in Biology at the University of Hamburg, Germany in March, 2008. Her main subject there was zoology and her biological work was focused on reproduction of jellyfish and biology of Cnidaria in general while palaeontology was one of her minor subjects.  After teaching 'biology for geoscientists' at University of Hamburg in winter 2008/09, she decided to change her main field of science to palaeontology and started a PhD project  on preservation of soft-bodied animals at UCD which is funded by the IRCSET Embark Initiative and supervised by Dr Patrick Orr.



Peer Reviewed Journals

Laetitia Adler & Martin Röper (2012) 'Description of a new potential fossil hydromedusa Palaequorea rygoli and revision of the fossil medusa Hydrocraspedota mayri from the Plattenkalks of the Franconian Alb, Southern Germany'. Neues Jahrbuch Fuer Geologie Und Palaeontologie, 264 (3):249-262. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Lebrato, Mario; Pitt, Kylie; Sweetman, Andrew; Jones, Daniel; Cartes, Joan; Oschlies, Andreas; Condon, Robert; Molinero, Juan; Adler, Laetitia; Gaillard, Christian; Lloris, Domingo; Billett, David (2012) 'Jelly-falls historic and recent observations: a review to drive future research directions'. Hydrobiologia, 690 (1):227-245. Available Online [Details]
Laetitia Adler, Gerhard Jarms; (2009) 'New insights into reproductive traits of scyphozoans: special methods of propagation in Sanderia malayensis GOETTE, 1886 (Pelagiidae, Semaeostomeae) enable establishing a new classification of asexual reproduction in the class Scyphozoa'. Marine Biology, 156 (7):1411-1420. Available Online [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

Laetitia Adler, Martin Röper, Gerhard Jarms, Monika Rothgänger; (2007) 'Erstnachweis einer fossilen Hydromeduse vom Typ der rezenten Aequoreidae (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria) in den Plattenkalken von Painten' Archaeopteryx 25 :15-20. [Details]


Research Interests

Project Title : Preservation of soft-bodied animals - implications for the evolution of early Metazoa

Supervisor: Dr Patrick Orr

Funding Agencies: 
IRCSET Embark Initiative Project


Enigmatic 600-510 million year old fossils probably include the oldest examples of soft-bodied animals (those that lack mineralised tissues such as (bones, shells and teeth). However, the affinities of many of these fossils, and thus their relevance to the early record of animals, remain controversial. How can we find out about the real nature of these problematica?  Comparing the fossil material to extant material (i.e. closely-related living species) can often help to constrain interpretations of the latter. BUT: a pristine carcass is not a good analogue for almost any soft-bodied fossil; almost always the latter will have experienced some, often considerable, decay before being fossilised. An established technique in palaeobiology is  to decay extant analogues  to assess how the products of these experiments 'match' the fossil material.
Therefore, this project will include such experiments using different representatives of non triploblastic metazoan groups as these are the groups most likely to be represented in the fossil material. Different experimental conditions (such as presence/absence of sediment) will mimic different natural environments in which fossilisation occurs.