Christopher Stocker, Postgraduate Researcher

Biogeographical significance of the Silurian and Devonian trilobites of Japan

Supervisors: Professor Mark Williams (University of Leicester), Professor Jan Zalasiewicz (University of Leicester)

Christopher StockerThe three Early Palaeozoic terranes of Japan are replete with fossil faunas that can be used to help reconstruct the early geographical evolution of the region. Various authors have suggested biogeographical relationships between the Australian segment of Gondwana, South China and North China plates. Trilobites have been used extensively in global palaeo-biogeography, and they could provide the key to unlock this Palaeozoic puzzle. My research involves thoroughly re-examining extensive Japanese trilobite collections, as well as targeted collection over the three terranes. This will feed into a larger project entitled ‘Assembling the Early Palaeozoic terranes of Japan’ involving a multidisciplinary team of European and Japanese scientists.

Brief Biography

  • 2015 – Present: Geology PhD student, University of Leicester.
  • 2010 – 2014: MGeol Geology with Palaeobiology, University of Leicester.

Masters Thesis: Microfossil adventures in the Iron Age: an investigation into ceramic technology and provenance using calcareous microfossils

Awards/Grants:

  • University of Leicester recipient of the Palaeontological Association undergraduate prize (2012).
  • University of Leicester recipient of The Micropalaeontological Society student award (2013)
  • Stapley Educational Trust grant (£800) in 2018

Project Overview

The three Lower Palaeozoic terranes of Japan are the South Kitakami Terrane of northeast Honshu, the Hida-Gaien Terrane of central Honshu, and the Kurosegawa Terrane of Shikoku and Kyushu islands, southwest Japan.

The sedimentary rock succession in each of these terranes is replete with fossil faunas that can be used to track its early geographical evolution. This is important, because for much of their geological history, terranes that characterize Japan’s ‘Outer Zone’, to the south of the Median Tectonic Line (a large tectonic structure that runs from Kyushu through to central Honshu island), have a distinctly different taxonomic signal to those north of the MTL within Japan’s ‘Inner Zone’. This signature is apparent in Japan’s most ancient fossil assemblages, those from the Silurian and Devonian of the Hida-Gaien, South Kitakami and Kurosegawa terranes. Differences in fossil assemblages may also reflect differences in overall environment between regions that were continent facing, and those that were ocean facing. Analysis of Japan’s fossils through the Silurian and Devonian can be used to explore patterns of terrane amalgamation. Various authors have suggested biogeographical relationships between these faunas and those of the Silurian and Devonian of the Australian segment of Gondwanaland and also the supposedly adjacent South China and North China plates, but there is no clear consensus on the palaeogeography of Japan at this time, and the published accounts of the fossil assemblages show no consistent patterns. In part, this reflects an incomplete record of the lithofacies distribution of the fauna, and of the palaeoecological analysis of the different faunas, which includes those with benthic and pelagic lifestyles.

In this project, the extensive Silurian and Devonian trilobite faunas of the three terranes will be examined to:

  1. Identify their true taxonomic significance.
  2. Clarify their lithofacies distribution and environmental ranges.
  3. Establish their bioegeographical significance and use this to examine the early terrane evolution of Japan.Christopher Stocker, Postgraduate Researcher

This project is part of a larger project entitled Assembling the Early Palaeozoic terranes of Japan involving colleagues in the UK (Leicester and Oxford), Belgium (Ghent) and Japan (Nagoya and Kumamoto). Aside from my study of the trilobites, there are many other elements to this project including work on ostracods, conodonts and chitinozoa.

Publications

Stocker, C., Siveter, D. J., Lane, P., Williams, M., Oji, T., Wallis, S. R., Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T., Siveter, D. J., and Vandenbroucke, T. R. A. (in press) The paleobiogeographical significance of the Silurian and Devonian trilobites of Japan. Island Arc.

Stocker, C. P., Siveter , D. J., Lane, P. D., Williams, M., Oji, T., Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T., Wallis, S., Siveter, D. J. & Vandenbroucke, T. R. A. (in press) The Silurian and Devonian proetid and aulacopleurid trilobites of Japan. Fossils and Strata.

Maekawa, T., Komatsu, T., Tanaka, G., Williams, M., Stocker, C. P., Okura, M. and Umayahara, A. (in press) Missourian (Kasimovian, Late Pennsylvanian) conodonts from limestone boulders, Mizuboradani Valley, Gifu Prefecture, central Japan. Paleontological Research [available online]

Stocker, C., Tanaka, G., Siveter, D. J., Lane, P., Tsutsumi, Y., Komatsu, T., Wallis, S., Oji, T., Siveter, D. J., and Williams, M. (2018) Biogeographical and Biostratigraphical Significance of a New Middle Devonian Phacopid Trilobite from the Naidaijin Formation, Kurosegawa Terrane, Kyushu, Southwest Japan. Paleontological Research, 22 (1), 75-90.

Komatsu, T., Urakawa, R., Yamauchi, K., Inada, T., Maekawa, T., Takashima, R., Williams, M., Stocker, C., Nguyen, P. D. and Doan, H. D. (2017) Upper Devonian carbonates encapsulating the Frasnian-Fammenian boundary in northern Vietnam. Journal of the Sedimentological Society of Japan 76, 2-2.

Wilkinson, I. P., Williams, M., Stocker, C., Whitbread, I., Boomer, I., Farman, T. and Taylor, J. (2017) Microfossils in Iron Age and Romano-British ceramics from eastern England. In Williams, M., Hill, T., Boomer, I. & Wilkinson, I. P. (eds): The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History, Geological Society of London, pp.

Stocker, C. P., Komatsu, T., Tanaka, G., Williams, M., Siveter, D. J., Bennett, C. E., Wallis, S., Oji, T., Maekawa, T., Okura, M. & Vandenbroucke, T. R. A. (2016) Carboniferous ostracods from central Honshu, Japan. Geological Magazine 155, 98-108.

Leitch, V., Mattingly, D., Williams, M., Norry, M. J., Wilkinson, I. P., Whitbread, I., Stocker, C. P. & Farman, T. (2016) Provenance of clay used in Garamantian ceramics from Jarma, Fazzan region (south-west Libya): A combined geochemical and microfossil analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10, 1-14.

Williams, M., Perrier, V., Bennett, C., Hearing, T., Stocker, C., & Harvey, T. (2015). Ostracods: The ultimate survivors. Geology Today, 31(5), 193-200.

Williams, M., Wilkinson, I., Taylor, J., Whitbread, I., Stamp, R., Boomer, I, Yates, E. & Stocker, C. (2015). Microfossil-determined provenance of clay building materials at Burrough Hill Iron Age hill fort, Leicestershire, England. Journal of Archaeological Science, 54, 329-339.

 

Conference presentations

Stocker, C. P., Williams, M., Lane, P. D., Siveter, D. J., Tanaka, G., Oji, T., Wallis, S. R. Silurian and Devonian trilobites of Japan: ‘eye witnesses’ to the early geological evolution of the Japanese islands. The 5th International Palaeontological Congress, Sorbonne University, Paris. [Oral presentation]


Stocker, C. P., Williams, M., Lane, P. D., Siveter, D. J., Oji, T., Wallis, S. R. , Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T. (2018) Palaeobiogeographical significance of the Silurian and Devonian trilobites of Japan. Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Society of Japan, Tohoku University, Sendai. [Oral presentation]

Stocker, C., Lane, P., Siveter, D. J., Williams, M., Oji, T., Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T., Wallis, S. R. and Vandenbroucke, T. R. A. (2017) Trilobite! Japan? The Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting, Imperial College London. [Poster presentation]

Stocker, C. P., Lane, P. D., Siveter, D. J., Tanaka, G., Williams, M., Oji, T., Wallis, S. R. (2017) The biogeographical significance of some Silurian and Devonian trilobites of Japan: a comparison of different taxonomic groups and discussion of their individual ecological and lithofacies ranges. The 124th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of Japan, Ehime University, Matsuyama. [Invited oral presentation at plenary session]

Stocker, C. P., Lane, P. D.,  Siveter, D. J.,  Wallis, S., Oji, T., Siveter, D. J., Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T., Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M. (2017) The Silurian and Devonian proetid trilobites of Japan: a biogeographically or ecologically isolated fauna? 6th International Conference on Trilobites and their Relatives, Tallinn, Estonia. [Oral presentation]

Stocker, C. P., Lane, P. D.,  Siveter, D. J.,  Wallis, S., Oji, T., Vandenbroucke, T. R. A., Siveter, D. J., Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T., Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M. (2017) The Silurian and Devonian proetid trilobites of Japan: a biogeographically or ecologically isolated fauna? Progressive Palaeontology, Leicester [‘lightning talk’ oral presentation]

Stocker, C. P., Williams, M., Wallis, S., Oji, T., Lane, P. D., Vandenbroucke, T. R. A., Siveter, D. J., Siveter, D. J., Tanaka, G., Komatsu, T. (2015) Assembling the Early Palaeozoic terranes of Japan. The Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting, Cardiff University. [Poster presentation]

Stocker, C. P., Komatsu, T., Tanaka, G., Williams, M., Siveter, D. J., Bennett, C. E., Wallis, S., Oji, T., Maekawa, T. (2015) An Eifelian ostracod ecotype marine assemblage from the Carboniferous Ichinotani Formation, central Honshu, Japan. The Micropalaeontological Society Annual Meeting, Liverpool University. [Poster presentation]

Stocker, C.P., Williams, M. (2015) Assembling the Early Palaeozoic terranes of Japan. Progressive Palaeontology, Bristol [‘Lightning talk’ oral presentation]

Stocker, C.P., Williams, M., Wilkinson, I., Taylor, J., Whitbread, I. (2014) An investigation into ceramic technology and provenance using calcareous microfossils from Iron Age pottery at Burrough Hill hill fort Leicestershire. The Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting, Leeds. [Poster presentation]

Williams, M., Wilkinson, I., Taylor, J., Whitbread, I., Stamp, R., Boomer, I, Yates, E. & Stocker, C. (2014). Microfossil Adventures in the British Iron Age. Palaeo’ to the People: fossils in the service of man.Geologists Association Annual meeting, Leicester 2014.

Stocker, C.P, Williams, M., Wilkinson, I., Taylor, J., Whitbread, I. (2013) Microfossil Adventures in the Iron Age. The Micropalaeontological Society Annual Meeting, Natural History Museum, London. [Poster presentation]

Contact

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this project or related work at cps10@le.ac.uk or if you would like any more info or access to my publications see:
LinkedIn profile: https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/chris-stocker/53/a14/124
Researchgate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chris_Stocker

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