ROSAE is a scientific project aiming to study organism-sediment relationships in extreme environments – from the deep sea to eventual ecosystems beyond Earth. To this aim, special emphasis is placed on the products of the interactions between organisms and sediments: burrows and bioturbated textures. Both modern and fossil habitats will be explored…

  • Burrows 90%

  • Ethology 80%

  • Astrobiology 85%

  • Geology 75%


organism-sediment relationships in the deep seain salt lakesbeyond Earthin extreme environments


how to study extreme environments?

Earth Sciences
Life Sciences

We will apply the methods of ichnology – the scientific discipline dealing with traces – to study extreme environments. This discipline studies traces such as burrows, borings and footprints and as such it is at the interface between Earth and Life Sciences. Traces can provide significant insight on how organisms behave in extreme environments!


follow the development of the ROSAE project

July 2017

Activity report of ROSAE

The activity report of ROSAE can be found here  

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September 2016


The Ordovician and Silurian periods are characterized by major biotic and geochemical events, among which…

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July 2016

ROSAE and The Early to Middle Palaeozoic Revolution

Annalisa Ferretti of the ROSAE team presented new insights about “Apatite Overgrowth on Conodont Elements”…

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May 2016

A gallery of trace fossils

Here is  a gallery of some of the most beautiful traces studied by the ROSAE…

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Talk, poster and workshop at Ichnia 2016

The ROSAE team presented a talk, a poster and a workshop at Ichnia 2016, the…

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Ichnia 2016

Ichnia is one of the major meetings for ichnologists, the scientists that study organism-substrate interactions….

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April 2016

Jurassic tidal flat strikes back!

Nowadays crabs are common organisms in marine environments, but they appeared around 185 million years…

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A walking crinoid and its trace

Time for discovers: a Jurassic crinoid at the end of its trail! This discover is…

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December 2015

ROSAE at the Orton Geological Museum

Annalisa Ferretti of the ROSAE team has been visiting scientist at the Ohio State University of…

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October 2015

ROSAE at the European Space Agency

The ROSAE team presented a talk at the ESTEC complex of the European Space Agency…

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Trace fossils under the snow

The ROSAE fieldwork is becoming ‘extreme’ under the snow!

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August 2015

The ROSAE team is on the field

We are on the field to find new burrows in fossil extreme environments. New paleontological…

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July 2015


Annalisa Ferretti of the ROSAE team attended the 2nd International Congress on Stratigraphy (STRATI 2015).

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palaeontologists, geologists, biologists and physicists for the study of extreme environments

Andrea Baucon


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia/ Naturtejo

Annalisa Ferretti


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Federico Bernardini



Andrea Cardini


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Barbara Cavalazzi


University of Bologna

Antonio Celani



Fabrizio Felletti


University of Milan

Antonio Todaro


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia