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Devonian Climate, Sea Level and Evolutionary Events

cgdfukThis Geological Society Special Publication presents a number of papers encapsulating the latest research surrounding our understanding of the geological and palaeontological records of climate change and the evolutionary changes associated with them in the Devonian. 

Having recently reviewed the book on the same topic by Suttner et al. (2016), I was keen to see how this volume measured up. It is a fascinating read, although obviously aimed at a slightly different, (dare one say, more 'academic') audience. The 14 chapters cover a wide range of topics and subject areas, with a global coverage and encompassing a wide range of techniques.

The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the Devonian world and is a welcome addition to the subject, summarising as it does the work of all the scientists involved in ICGP 596. It is really interesting for someone who teaches geology (like me) to see how multidisciplinary approaches are being used to answer questions from deep time and increasingly coming up with answers and also with further questions for research!

This volume builds on the excellent books already covering the Devonian world by the same publisher, for example Königshof (2009). As with all books from the publisher the quality of reproduction is second to none, with excellent use of colour where required. Tables and diagrams are clearly reproduced and enhance the readability of the text.

Covering the use of modern techniques to give a much improved dating and correlation of Devonian events, I will be using this text to revisit my teaching of the understanding of mass-extinction events and global sea-level fluctuations during that period. In particular I found the coverage of a multitude of biotic crises during the Devonian really enhanced my understanding. The wide variety of techniques covered and the wide geographical coverage mean that there should be something for everyone with an interest in climate change and evolutionary events during an important time in our planet's history.

This volume deserves a wide readership. It complements perfectly the work of Suttner et al. (2016) and if you were tempted to purchase that volume, then I would suggest you would be keen to have this book on your shelves as well!  Indeed I feel very lucky indeed to have had the opportunity to review it.


  • Königshof, P (2009) Devonian Change: Case Studies in Palaeogeography and Palaeoecology Geological Society of London Special Publication 314 (ISBN 978-1-86239-273-1)
  • Suttner, T J, Kido, E, Königshof, P, Waters, J A, Davis, L, and Messner, F (2016) Planet Earth - In Deep Time (Palaeozoic Series - Devonian & Carboniferous) Schweizerbart Science Publishers (ISBN 978-3-510-65335-5)

Reviewed by: Gordon Neighbour

DEVONIAN CLIMATE, SEA LEVEL AND EVOLUTIONARY EVENTS by R T BECKER, P KÖNIGSHOF AND C E BRETT (Eds) Geological Society Special Publication #423 ISBN: 978–1–86239–734-7 list Price: £130.00 Fellows’ price: £65.00. W: