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Personal profile

Research interests

I'm a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, originally from Kodiak, Alaska; I study dinosaurs among other things- birds, pterosaurs, snakes, lizards, humans.

I'm interested in understanding large scale patterns in evolution- macroevolution. I study the evolution of complex adaptations like bird flight and the evolution of snakes from lizards, and large-scale changes to the biosphere like the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, and the recovery afterward. I'm especially interested in the idea that macroevolution is more than just lots of microevolution. Over geologic timescales, low-probability, high-impact events play a role in evolution. These include catastrophes like asteroid impacts, volcanic eruptions, and ice ages, but also positive events like long-distance oceanic dispersal and the evolution of complex, improbable adaptations. I suspect intelligence probably exists elsewhere in the universe, but it's too far away to talk to.

 

Willing to supervise doctoral students

Always happy to talk with students and postdocs in need of advice.

Keywords

  • paleontology
  • dinosauria
  • evolution
  • extinction
  • biogeography
  • phylogenetics
  • palaeontology
  • mass extinction
  • complexity
  • macroevolution

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