Ph.D. students

Andrei Ichaso Demianiuk

ProfilePics_AIchaso.pngI completed my undergrad studies in Geological Engineering at the “Universidad Central de Venezuela” in Caracas, Venezuela. Then I worked for almost 2 years at the Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research (FUNVISIS) assessing urban geological hazards, vulnerability, and risks using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I also participated as an assistant in paleoseismic trench investigation and regional geological mapping projects. In January 2014 I began an M.Sc. in Geological Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan focusing on establishing a depositional and sequence stratigraphy model for the Cambrian-Ordovician Deadwood Formation in Saskatchewan´s subsurface using stratigraphy, sedimentology, and ichnology. In late 2015 the project was upgraded into a Ph.D. and the study area was expanded into Alberta, North Dakota, and South Dakota. I started to become fond of ichnology when I learned of its importance in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and stratigraphic analysis and its applications in the oil industry.

Thesis: Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and ichnology of the middle Cambrian to Early Ordovician Deadwood Formation in western Canada and the midwestern United States

Supervisors: Dr. Luis Buatois & Gabriela Mángano


Ichaso, A., Buatois, L., and Mángano, M. 2016. Transition from tide- to wave-dominated regimes in a middle Cambrian to Lower Ordovician seaway in southern Saskatchewan: Integrating ichnologic and sedimentologic datasets. Abstract submitted to Ichnia 2016: abstract book (2016): 260-261. UNESCO Geopark Naturtejo/International Ichnological Association, Castelo Branco.

Ichaso, A. 2011. Caracterización geológico-estratigráfica de la Formación Matatere en la región de Siquisique-Santa Inés-Santa Cruz de Bucaral, estados Lara y Falcón, Venezuela. Geos, UCV, 43(2012): 16 + 190 p. in DVD, folder 08.

Urbani, F., Grande, W., Reategui, W., Muñoz, P., Rodríguez, H., Ichaso, A., Mendi, D., and Baquero, M. 2012. Geología de la Ofiolita de Siquisique y unidades sedimentarias asociadas. Región de Siquisique-Mapararí, edos. Lara y Falcón, Venezuela. Boletin Geos 42 (2012):114-117.


Romain Gougeon

Ph.D. candidate


At the University of Rennes 1 (France), I completed a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Palaeontology. During this latest, my research project on the ichnology of the Precambrian-Cambrian limit of Brittany (France) led me to publish my first scientific papers. Following this growing interest, I contacted Drs. Gabriela Mángano and Luis Buatois from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), and presently work on trace fossils from the Cambrian GSSP in Newfoundland (Canada) as a Ph.D. student.

Thesis: Environmental controls on trace fossil distribution from the Ediacaran-Cambrian GSSP of Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland, Canada: integrating ichnologic and sedimentologic datasets to unravel early metazoan evolution.

Supervisors: Dr. M. Gabriela Mángano and Dr. Luis A. Buatois


Gougeon R.C., Mángano G.M., Buatois L.A., Narbonne G.M., Laing B.A. 2018. Early Cambrian origin of the shelf sediment mixed layer. Nature communications 9, 1-7.

Gougeon R., Néraudeau D., Dabard M.P., Pierson-Wieckmann A.C., Polette F., Poujol M., Saint-Martin J.P. 2018. Trace fossils from the Brioverian (Ediacaran-Fortunian) in Brittany (NW France). Ichnos 25, 14-24.

researchgate  Email

Brittany Laing

Ph.D. candidate


During my time at Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada), I was introduced to ichnology by my undergraduate supervisor, Dr. Guy Narbonne. Increasingly, I was curious about the insights trace fossils can provide into evolution, be it of behaviour, environments, or body plans. This prompted me to pursue an M.Sc. at the University of Saskatchewan with Dr.’s Mángano, Buatois, and Narbonne (Queen’s) studying the ichnology at the Ediacaran and Cambrian GSSP in Newfoundland, which I completed in May 2018. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. jointly supervised by Dr.’s Mángano and Buatois, as well as Dr. Brock from Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia).

Thesis: Earliest Cambrian bioturbation, ichnodiversity, and behaviour in Earth’s oldest animal ecosystem engineers from Australia.

Supervisors: Dr. M. Gabriela Mángano, Dr. Luis Buatois, and Dr. Glenn Brock (Macquarie University)


Laing, B.A., Mángano, M.G., Buatois, L.A., Narbonne, G.M., & Gougeon, R.C. (2019). A protracted Ediacaran-Cambrian transition: an ichnologic ecospace analysis of the Fortunian in Newfoundland, Canada. Geological Magazine. 156(9), 1623-1630. 10.1017/S0016756819000141

Laing, B.A., Buatois, L.A., Mángano, M.G., Narbonne, G.M., & Gougeon, R.C. (2018). Gyrolithes from the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary section in Fortune Head, Newfoundland, Canada: Exploring the onset of complex burrowing. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 495, 171-185. 10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.01.010

 researchgate  instalogopng  Email  PersonalSite Signature_OrcID twitter-squared

Kai Zhou

Ph.D. candidate

ProfilePics_KZhou.pngI did my master of geology and bachelor of geological engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and China University of Petroleum (Beijing) respectively. I am a carbonate sedimentologist, interested in mud-mound reefs particularly. I found ichnology a very powerful tool in the study of both sedimentology and evolutional geology after helping Luis and Gabriela with tons of drawings and data organization in their ichnological papers. I would like to provide detailed documentation and further understanding of trace fossils in the essentially underexplored carbonate systems from an ichnological perspective.

Thesis: Trace fossil distribution in shallow-marine carbonate sedimentary rocks, Miocene example in Las Negras area, southeastern Spain, and a review of their Phanerozoic evolution in carbonate systems

Supervisors: Dr. Luis Buatois and Dr. M. Gabriela Mángano

Zhou, K. & Pratt, B. (in revision) Composition and origin of stromatactis-bearing mud-mounds (Upper Devonian, Frasnian), southern Rocky Mountains, western Canada. Sedimentology

Zhou, K. & Pratt, B. (in revision) Upper Devonian (Frasnian) stromatactis-bearing mud-mounds, western Alberta, Canada: Reef framework dominated by peloidal microcrystalline calcite. Journal of Sedimentary Research