Kenneth De Baets

Dr. Kenneth De Baets

  • Organization: Geozentrum Nordbayern
  • Working group: Chair of Palaeontology (Prof. Dr. Kießling)
  • Phone number: +49 9131 85-22906
  • Fax number: +49 9131 85-22690
  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Address:
    Loewenichstraße 28
    91054 Erlangen
    Room 2.105


  • Macroevolutionary patterns during the Devonian Nekton Revolution
  • Evolutionary history of coevolutionary relationships
  • Spatial and temporal distribution of Paleozoic diversity and body size

  • 2008: Swiss Palaeontological Society Grant: to participate in the Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy and IGCP 499 Devonian Land Sea Interaction Conference and Field trip in Kitab, Uzbekistan
  • 2008: SYNTHESYS Grant: to study evolution of ontogeny and variability in early ammonoids at the Naturkunde Museum, Berlin
  • 2010: VAUZ Grant: to participate in the Annual Palaeontological Society Meeting in Gent
  • 2010: Swiss Paleontological Society Grant: to participate in the 8th International Symposium, Cephalopods – Present and Past in Dijon, France
  • 2012: Swiss National Science Foundation Grant for Prospective Researchers: to work on the coevolutionary history of parasitic flatworms and their hosts
  • 2015: Synthesys Grant: to study parasitic load of fossil coprolites with CT at the Natural History Museum, London
  • 2015: Synthesys Grant: to study pathological fossil cephalopods at the National Museum, Prague
  • Geologica Belgica (Belgium)
  • Paläontologische Gesellschaft (Germany)
  • Palaeontological Association (United Kingdom)
  • Schweizerische Paläontologische Gesellschaft/Sociéte Paléontologique Suisse (Switzerland)
  • Society for the Study of Evolution (USA)
  • Authored Books

    Journal Articles

    Book Contributions


    • Constraining the deep origin of metazoan parasitism through integration of Evolutionary Parasitology and Molecular Paleobiology
      (FAU Funds)
      Term: 1. January 2017 - 31. December 2017
    • Body size dynamics of cephalopods across the Pliensbachian-Toarcian crisis
      (Third Party Funds Group – Sub project)
      Overall project: Temperature-related stresses as a unifying principle in ancient extinctions (TERSANE)
      Term: 1. August 2016 - 31. July 2019
      Funding source: DFG / Forschergruppe (FOR)
      The reduction of body size within individual lineages is suggested to be one of the most important responses in the face of temperature-related stressors. Despite common suggestions of similar size changes around mass extinction events, the global significance as well as the mechanisms of this Lilliput effect are still controversial. This project aims at understanding the role of warming and associated stressors (anoxia) in driving body size changes of marine organisms in the Early Jurassic (Toarcian) crisis. We focus on cephalopods along a N/S-gradient of western Europe and northwestern Africa to explore patterns of body sizes from individual taxa to entire assemblages. Patterns will be explicitly analysed in the context of sedimentary facies, physico-chemical proxies and physiological predictions to test the correlation of body size with environmental parameters such as temperature, oxygenation and productivity/burial of organic carbon.
    • Temperature-related stresses as a unifying principle in ancient extinctions
      (Third Party Funds Group – Sub project)
      Overall project: FOR 2332: Temperature-related stresses as a unifying principle in ancient extinctions (TERSANE)
      Term: 1. July 2016 - 30. June 2019
      Funding source: DFG / Forschergruppe (FOR)
      Combined with local and regional anthropogenic factors, current human-induced climate warming is thought to be a major threat to biodiversity. The ecological imprint of climate change is already visible on land and in the oceans. The imprint is largely manifested in demographic/abundance changes and phenological and distribution shifts, whereas only local extinctions are yet attributable to climate change with some confidence. This is expected to change in the near future owing to direct heat stress, shortage of food, mismatches in the timing of seasonal activities, geographic barriers to migration, and new biological interactions. Additional stressors are associated with climate warming in marine systems, namely acidification and deoxygenation. Ocean acidification is caused by the ocean's absorption of CO2 and deoxygenation is a result of warmer water, increased ocean stratification and upwelling of hypoxic waters. The combination of warming, acidification and deoxygenation is known as the "deadly trio". Temperature is the most pervasive environmental factor shaping the functional characteristics and limits to life and is also central to the generation and biological effects of hypoxic waters and to modulating the effects of ocean acidification, with and without concomitant hypoxia. Due to the key role of temperature in the interaction of the three drivers we termed these temperature-related stressors (TRS).